So in case you hadn’t noticed it from the heartfelt announcement last week, or the 80,000 references I’ve made since, I wrote a book. And I published that book, effectively marking the single most exciting event of my life to date. (Yes, even eclipsing both my Harry Potter birthday party and that time that I spoke to Daniel Radcliffe.)
Everyone who’s offered feedback on the book so far has been amazingly positive and encouraging! Terra even has 11 5-star reviews on Amazon so far, which is seriously amazing (thank you to those of you who have already read and reviewed the book!) — like, mindbogglingly so. Of course, I know that this ego-inflating love will only last so long. Eventually, somebody is going to pick up Terra and decide it’s really not their cup of tea. They will dislike it–maybe even hate it–and that’s okay! No book is for everyone, and I even know people that (gasp!) don’t like Harry Potter or really didn’t like The Hunger Games, and they are totally entitled to that opinion. Regardless of how misguided it may be.
So ultimately, someone is going to dislike my book enough that they feel compelled to leave a negative review on Amazon or Goodreads or their blog or whatever. And maybe it’ll be really thoughtful and well-articulated and make some very valid points that I can use to improve my writing/the story in future books. Or, maybe it’ll be an all-caps trollfest of a comment that’s like, “THIS BOOK TOTALLY SUCKS FOR SOME UNSPECIFIED REASON! DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME! THIS AUTHOR IS THE WORST WRITER EVER, AND SHE’S UGLY, AND I WANT THOSE HOURS OF MY LIFE BACK!” And if it is, well, it is. I’ll have to learn how to deal with that.
See, I am a self-proclaimed wimp when it comes to criticism. I have skin like vellum, I’m super sensitive, I take EVERYTHING personally (seriously, just ask my family). Or, at least, that’s how I used to be. I really do think that writing this blog has helped toughen me up a little bit. Even though I’ve never really experienced the brunt of an internet movement’s backlash, or even had too many vocal haters on GOMI, there are definitely people out there who don’t like my blog, or don’t think I’m doing a good job with my weight loss/food choices/general attempts to grow up, or simply just don’t like me, period. And that’s valid too, because everyone has the right to their own opinion. Plus, there are definitely people out there that I don’t particularly adore, so how could I possibly expect myself to be immune from the same feelings? So, yes, despite my all-encompassing desire to have everyone ever in the whole wide world be in love with me, I really am finally starting to get to a place where I’m okay with knowing there are people out there who won’t.
So, while, yes, it is nice to bask in the glow of rave reviews from my wonderful readers thus far, in the back of my mind there’s always a little spark–like the pilot light of my self-protection gas fireplace–reminding me not to get too swept away. Because when I do get that first 1-star review, or stumble across that scathing blog post, and my family finds me cradling myself in the fetal position in the corner of my living room, I’m going to need to find the wherewithal to eventually pick myself back up again. Because even after I burst into tears and declare to the
Twittersphere world that I’m never going to write again, that is not the truth. I will keep writing. Of course I will.
I always knew that even if this book only sold a dozen copies to people that are related to me by blood, I would keep going. Finish the story, finish the series, continue to try. Because nothing that was ever worth having ever came easy… or something like that. And because this is what I want to do. Like, really do, you know? And I know this post is starting to creep into the borders of Cheesyland, but I don’t care.
ANYWAY. The bottom line is that I’m really trying very hard to keep a level head now, so that when I do have to face the inevitable bad review music, I don’t go tailspinning into the doldrums so hard that I can’t pull myself back out again. Of course, this is a lot easier said now than I’m sure it will be to actually handle later. As The Oatmeal so brilliantly put it:
How I feel after reading 1,000 insightful, positive comments about my work: The whole internet loves me.
How I feel after reading 1,000 insightful, positive comments about my work and ONE negative one: The whole internet hates me.
Do you consider yourself to be someone with a thick skin? Or are you a super sensitive special snowflake like me? Ahahahaha.