Feb 24, 2014

A Word to the Wise

Warning: Kind of ranty. I'll try to make it fun.

Was it two years ago that I made a post about reviews? Yes, I think it was. Essentially, it said "go ahead, look at your reviews only if you can handle it."

As we've seen time and time again, some people just cannot handle it. That's okay. It's not COMPLETELY TOTALLY NECESSARY for you to read your reviews.


Everyone gets bad reviews. It's been going on for years, decades, centuries even. On my personal Facebook, I follow Anne Rice (LOVE) and she posts about the bad reviews she's received as well as good reviews all without judgement. She's awesome, and just one author who knows she's not going to please every reader 100% of the time.

One thing I hear a lot of is author's whining that we have feelings, too... We have opinions. What about our freedom of speech? Blah blah blah.

Our "freedom of speech" comes out in the words in our book. And readers have every right to review. They bought the book with their money. They can review bad or good. 1* star: this author's writing is garbage and I'll never read them again. Or 5*****: OMG. I want moar! MOAR!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!1!

And when author's come across that 1* review, it's their right to feel bad, but not their right to make the reviewer feel bad, too. When you whine and gripe about that review, it's no longer about your book, it's about you. It gets personal. Pretty much, your career = toilet.

Instead, authors, feel bad in private. Eat a piece of cake, a bowl of ice cream, or find a private corner of the internet (a writer's support group, or wherever you go) and feel bad. If you're on the internet, do it quick = get it out and get on with your life.

So I'm sure at this point you're asking "Azalea, what's this all about? The recent shit storm from so-n-so?" Yes and no. It's about the shit storm that comes up every few months from authors that can't stand criticism. But it's also about a personal decision of mine not to read my reviews anymore, well, not for awhile anyway. Will I ever read another review? Yes, yes I will.

I got a bad review. Hell, I got a lot of them. I don't whine in public places where everyone can see me. I may post a quick gripe in a private place on the internet, and that's that. I get on with my day. I may talk to my boyfriend about it. But that's that. The end. I keep writing. Whether it sucks, eh, I'm happy so I don't give a shit.

FYI: public internet space = Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. etc.
private internet space = closed critique group, closed forum area, a support group (separate from writing all together), etc.

So a word to the wise:
Authors: IT'S NOT NECESSARY TO READ REVIEWS. But if you do, DON'T whine about the bad ones all over public internet space!!
Readers and reviewers: keep reviewing. Don't let whiners discourage you. You have that right.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this. Urge to whine when I read a bad review? Definitely! Desire to act on it in a public forum? HELL no, bad author form. It's hard not to read reviews, but I do see the wisdom in what you're saying.