Have a Heart

Broken heart symbol
Broken heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My heart hurts. It’s true. I have been blissfully ignorant of one thing while I attempted to take the next step on my publishing journey. Book reviews.  I always knew that there would be others reviewing my story and my writing skills once I got my book out there, but never could I imagine the emotions flowing through me after reading each one.

I tell myself to quit checking them, but I can’t help it. I know certain reviews could potentially make me a better writer for addressing each of their concerns, but I hadn’t considered the fact that some people forget that authors are only human and have feelings too. Especially those with private accounts and unidentifiable screen names. How convenient for them.

Twisted is the first novel ever written by me. When I started writing it, I had no real writing background, except for reading others work and some random courses on grammar. Of course, by the time I had rewritten and edited Twisted, I had learned a lot more, but I still have a lot to learn. Don’t we all?

The reason my heart hurts is because it keeps experiencing the ups and downs of book reviews. Until I was published, I had only received rave reviews from readers, with no complaints except that book two wasn’t ready for them to read on. I am still getting those, but now unnamed individuals from around the world are free to rant and rave about what they did and didn’t like about my story and my skill as a writer.

While one person says, “Found this book on a chance.  Boy I was pleasantly surprised it kept my attention.  Hot steamy and couldn’t put it down.  Cannot wait to read the next one!!!!”, the next person is finding any way possible to bash it and me in the process.

I myself didn’t realize the effect a book review might have on the author. I can now say that if I ever have anything not-so-nice to say about a book (which isn’t super often), I will be sure to also announce what I did like about it, in fairness for the next reader to understand how I came to rate the book. I also hope that this post reaches some of those others who tend to write bad reviews. I ask that you take a look at yourself and your own life and make sure you aren’t taking unrelated personal frustrations out on the author.

Wow, what a rush. If you’re new to writing or still unpublished, I wish there were something I could say to help prepare you for that first blow, but I don’t believe anything could ever quite prepare you for it. I only hope that you’re lucky enough to bypass that unpleasant stab to your heart altogether.

Me, I like to write controversial, sassy, confident characters that apparently rub some people the wrong way. In other words, there will be plenty of icy javelins heaved my way in the future. I’m lucky to have a good support system though, so I think I can handle it. 😉

Have you experienced similar heart troubles? If so, how do you deal?

What about responding to negative Nancy? I’ve held my tongue to date, but I tell you it’s been hard.

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7 comments

  1. Hi Christa,

    I feel your pain. Having your writing analyzed can be heart breaking. But keep doing it because YOU LOVE IT. It’s hard not to take personally, because writing is all you, but a lot of reviewers are just nasty people. Some critiques may be helpful though and can only make you a better writer.

    I know I feel your pain since I can hardly write now because of people’s intense scrutiny. Although the casual reader likes me story, I get a lot of scrutiny from editors and writing groups who pull a part every little detail. I know it can hurt, but try to put it in perspective. A lot of people read and everyone has an opinion. They expect all writers to be grand and spectatcular and have high expectations. And us writers just want to write! Take it with a grain of salt and think about how it can help make you a better writer. And if the review isn’t pleasant and gives no encouragment, then screw them!

    I am still reading your story. It isn’t something I usually read but I am reading it as a way to escape! So you’ve at least given me a good outlet!

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    1. Thank you so much Vy. It really is a lot to take in at first. Each one gets a little easier. I’m working on brushing my shoulders off, but it’s so hard not to take it personally. Like you said, it’s all me, there’s no one else to direct the comments to or share the pain with.

      Good to know a fellow writer understands how I feel. My first review ever was by far the worst and it had me second guessing my abilities, but now I’m back to my good old ‘screw you’ self. Lol. After talking it through, I’ve determined that some people are just plain old mean… this person didn’t even read but 30% of the story, nor was her purchase verified like the other pleasant reviews. I have to admit it stumped my writing for a couple of days, but now I’m back in business with a vengeance. Hee hee. I hope you can do the same.

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  2. Honestly, this is one of my worries with publishing a book. I don’t know if I can handle people being mean but it will have to be something I overcome. I would just ignore it – someone will always have something bad to say…we just have to keep telling ourselves that WE are doing our best and if people like your story, you gotta be doing something right 😀 Hang in there! ^.^

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  3. I fear this too. I’m about to put myself “out there” and it gives me butterflies just thinking about it. The impersonal world of the internet has made it easier for people to be nasty. Filter those ones out, just take the positives and absorb constructive criticisms to grow from. (I know, easy to say from this side of the fence, but I hope to join you soon)

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