Unfortunately this isn't a happy post. I wish I could come up with something witty to make you all smile and laugh, but today I'm just not feeling it. I've been suffering lately from a serious lack of self-confidence in relation to my writing. I've had moments in the past where I've been down. Moments where I wondered why I bothered to keep plugging away.
However, this isn't like those other times.
Here at TWW we've chatted about negative reviews and their overall impact, but this isn't about that. This is about negative reader feedback. A bad review is one person's opinion of your work. We can (eventually) move past those. It's not the end of the world, blah, blah. But when you get feedback from readers it means SO much. Authors take those comments to heart. We LOVE LOVE hearing from readers because it means people are reading our books and that's a good feeling. Even if the feedback is negative we still appreciate the fact that this person spent money on our books AND took the time to email the author. Feedback can help because it lets us know what readers are thinking.
But when you get into a situation where you feel as if you're being lynched by a mob of angry women it's a very uncomfortable feeling. Your stomach knots up and you feel like someone just kicked your puppy. Authors put their heart and soul into a story. There's no other way to explain it. We're passionate about what we do. We FEEL for each character. For us they're real. When someone tears it all apart it's as if someone just threw mud all over the Mona Lisa. A shock wave goes through us and we freeze up. It's truly debilitating.
For those of you about to say 'grow a thicker skin'. I hear you. I really do hear you. Most likely the next time this happens I'll be a little less affected. It'll get easier because I'll know what to expect. I won't ever be blind-sided again. But for now, I'm trying to lift myself up and get back in the game. I will because there's no other choice. This won't stop me from writing. This isn't the end.
Nevertheless, for today, for right this moment, I'm feeling very wounded. The saying 'this too shall pass' is a constant refrain in my head. Thankfully, I have friends to lean on. They've let me complain and they've offered their hugs and encouragement. What would we do without friends, right?
With all that said, I do still believe in freedom of speech. These ladies have every right to say what they think. Good, bad or downright ugly, it's their prerogative to speak out. I guess I just need to learn to turn the other cheek. Um, yeah, I'm still working on that. LOL