A review! A bunch of words, all for me! And it’s a 2-star!
There’s always a sting, if your work isn’t received with glowing praise, but it fades quickly, now. To be honest, I like all reviews I get, all responses, all comments. I have a lot of love for anyone kind enough to let me know how they felt about something I wrote.
Once I’ve had a few minutes to absorb the sting, it turns into a kind of catharsis. A review is an opinion, from one stranger to another. It should cause reflection, and consideration, and ultimately understanding. What does it teach me? What do they really mean?
How can I use this to be a better writer?
It’s not enough to just be pragmatic about it, to shrug your shoulders and say ‘Well, everyone gets negative reviews.’ No! Bad writer! No cookie for you! You will LEARN, dammit, from what your reader has told you. And you should treasure this kind of feedback, because it’s more likely to be honest than the good stuff.
More than that, it keeps me grounded. There is a danger, always, of a writer becoming more ego than talent, and it bothers me that I could become that. But a bad review forces me to be humble, and tells me that I am not as good as I think I am. That I have room for improvement.
That really, I shouldn’t have rushed that story.
Oh well… it’s done, published, and I’ve moved on. Always look forward, not back, and never, ever rewrite once it’s been made public.
In other news, I’ve decided to pull my stuff out of Kindle Select. I want to publish on Smashwords, and post the stories here for free as epubs or something. That way, I can make them free all the time if I want.