Reviews and Reactions

I’ve had the blessing of three very positive reviews in the last week or so. A nice balance to the one or two really terrible reviews I’ve received in the past. Comparing and contrasting these experiences has led me to the conclusion that I need to be more self-confident, less reliant on the opinions of others.

When I receive a complimentary review, I’m ebullient…joyful…lighter than air…my writing sings and I’m a happy camper!

When I read a critical review, I agree with every negative comment and descend into a miasma of “I can’t write. Why do I even try?”

In reality, neither of these is a healthy reaction.

I need to trust my own instincts and the professionalism of my publisher and editor. We agree that my work is worthy of publication. Others’ opinions–whether reviewers, readers, or other writers–are just that: opinions. Not the stamp of approval (or rejection) from the Almighty.

Good reviews should give me a nice warm fuzzy…not pump me up with energy and make me think I’m on top of the world.

Critical reviews should cause mild dissatisfaction, give me a determination to make my next story tighter and more balanced…not drive me to the depths of despair convinced my writing career is doomed.

Balance. Harmony. Peace of mind knowing I’ve done the best work I was capable of at that moment in time. That’s the reaction I’m striving for…regardless of the reviewer’s comments.

How about you? Do you overreact to reviews of your work?

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