The Bright Side Of Negative Reviews

"Oh my God!" she yelled pointing at the screen.
"What?" her husband said and came running from the kitchen.
"A one star review on Amazon for my book!" Tears poured from her eyes and she curled into a ball in the corner of the room, rocking and holding herself muttering something barely resembling words.

Sound familiar?

Well, maybe not that bad but it's not a good feeling getting a negative review. Basically it's like stranger going out of their way at the talent show to tell you your son or daughter did a rotten job singing Call Me Maybe. If the world was perfect there'd be no negative reviews, everyone would love your book and sing your praises to the heavens.

But then again, in a perfect world you'd write the perfect book.

What I'm saying is there can be a lot to learn from negative reviews.

Constructive criticism is a big one. If someone does a two page thesis on what's wrong with your book complete with footnotes and a bibliography, that person has too much time on their hands. But, you should really read what they said. Did anything ring true to you? Did they put their fingers into a festering wound your story was bleeding from? See if you can glean anything constructive from their criticism and if you can, improve it on the next project.

What if someone basically writes ten words telling you that you should be shoveling shit in hell instead of writing? Well, it sounds like they didn't like the story. Which is just fine.

Repeat after me: It's okay that someone didn't like my book.

If you write enough and enough people read it, eventually someone will tell you that you suck at your true passion, a stunning blow in any profession, but you must take these as the flip side of the coin. Does your book have mostly positive reviews? Yes, okay, don't worry that a one star is going to deter your sales, it won't, especially if the person writing it had nothing other to say than they didn't like it. They're entitled to their opinion, let them broadcast it from the rooftops if they want. Constructive criticism is productive, you can learn from it, make yourself better. Someone not liking your story is a shoulder shrug before you continue working on your next project.

My daughter said something to me the other day and I'm sure it's been said before, but I like it.

"Every road has bumps."

Fuckin' A.

Get back to work.