The dreaded first negative review. When a new author receives one, their world is torn asunder, as is their hearts. Exposing yourself and sharing your words into the entire world is a strenuous endeavor. One could only hope that displaying their naked heart will lead to countless embraces and a community of understanding and familiarity. And more times than not, this is usually the case. But for those who like or love your work, there are going to be people who dislike or outright hate it. A balance is necessary, I’d say.
So as the headline hints, I received my first negative review; a 1-star review. When I saw this when I was checking Goodreads, I was, understandably, taken back and a little bit saddened.
Am I truly that terrible? Screw it! I’m going to stop writing for good! J.D. muttered indignantly.
Extreme and excessive? Maybe. Hmm, yes. Definitely. After the dramatics, I read the nine sentence review(?) over in order to find a critique and see where I went wrong. Myself, I love critiques. Hell, I was forced to love them while my stay at Columbia; the workshop method is based on critiques and I got them every week. In order to improve and refine technique, your work must be critiqued. In tandem with this principle, critiques must be thought out, in-depth, and constructive in order for the one who is being critiqued to know what to improve. Now, in this review, I didn’t see a genuine critique. It boiled down to one thing and she stated it too:
“I didn’t like the poetry/philosophy writing style. This book wasn’t at all up my alley.”
She didn’t like the characters or wasn’t a fan of the world, left her confused. Okay. But she did say, the story was unlike anything she has read before. That’s positive and that particular phrase has been the consensus for A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception. Not even a month after it’s publishing date, readers have varying opinions already. I see that as an achievement. Whether they absolutely loved, liked it, or even hated it, readers are forming their own opinions. This is how storytelling goes or any art form for that matter.
My fellow authors; aspiring, published, debut, and veterans, you can not take bad reviews as gospel, even good reviews. There are those who just aren’t going to like your work even if it is well-written. Write for yourself and write for the readers who are fond of your creations even if it is one or two them.
Finding your own method to cope with such things depends on you. What I like to do is quite simple; find the positives and accept the opinion. No use being crestfallen, yeah?
Tell me, have you experienced something like this, a bad review? It doesn’t have to be solely art. Just life in general. What do you do to cope and overcome?
If you are interested in reading and forming your own opinion on my debut Metaphysical Fantasy novel A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception, check out the links below. Add me on Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook if you are willing. Thanks for reading this. I hope it helps in some way!
Ja ne minna!