So I have to confess to another bad habit, at least a bad habit for writers. I like to go to the Amazon page of books I enjoyed (or Goodreads or what have you) and read the one-star and two-star reviews. And, sometimes, they have valid points, and I can see where they were coming from. Other times, said reviews are crazy-sauce. If the internet has proven one thing, it’s that some people will fundamentally mis-read something, and have loud opinions about it.
Knowing that, am I going to be able to keep myself from reading my one-star and two-star reviews?
No, I’m not. I’m really not. I just don’t have that kind of self-control.
However, what I think I’ll be able to do is roll with those bad reviews. I won’t respond to or challenge the reviewers. I will likely rant and scream a bit within the confines of my own household, but nothing public. I mean, I was an actor and theatre producer, so I’ve had bad reviews before. I can take it.
But…. I might also see some valid points. Points that I could learn from in the next project. Or give me insight into which aspects of the books are or aren’t working for people. Because, it would be the height of hubris to think that I’ve got everything figured out and there’s nothing left for me to learn. Even the most misguided, vitriolic bile-spitting hate-screed of a review could have a seed of value I can harvest. And if there isn’t, then… ignore it.
And since there’s always more to harvest, it’s off to the word… fields. Hmm. That metaphor isn’t quite as romantic, is it?