Joe Konrath’s written an amusing post on maintaining perspective, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Get Over Yourselves:
“Pinheads have dumb opinions, and the Internet lets them shout their dumb opinions without any fear of repercussion. We’re all free to condemn whoever we want to condemn, and be outraged by whatever gets us off.
Right now I’m outraged at all the unwarranted outrage.”
I wrote a blog post on Silver Bullet Syndrome:
Here’s why magic-bullet-thinking is bad — it shows a lack of respect for your readers. (And clients, too, if you’re writing for clients.)
People do strange things when they’re afraid. The freak out at sock-puppet reviews. They’re outraged at one-star reviews. They join a discussion group to harvest emails and spam members.
Take the heat
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been chatting with Challenge members who are afraid, specifically of one-start reviews on Amazon. However, as Konrath says, Amazon allows one-star reviews.
Think about it. If you post your novel (or ANYTHING) online, how bad would it be if someone, or many someones, absolutely hated what you wrote? If they gave you a one-star review?
Would it destroy you?
It wouldn’t destroy you. It might enrage you and later, make you sad. It might even stop you writing for a few days.
Here’s my advice: breathe. Take three deep, slow, breaths. Then take three more. Keep breathing.
If you survived school, you know all about bullies, and you’re more than capable of dealing with one-star reviews. Think about how you’d react now. Be prepared for it, because it will happen.
People will hate what you write. They’ll hate what you write even if they’ve never read it.
You can’t control what people do, or don’t do.
Here’s what you can do. You can accept that you’ll get bad reviews. That’s life.
You can decide that you understand that, and are completely prepared for it.
Then you can decide that you’ll laugh at one-star reviews. If there’s anything in a bad review which can help your writing, you can decide that you’ll take the advice.
Then you’ll write the best you can, today and tomorrow.
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