Instant karma's a bitch. Yesterday a friend in my Facebook writer group started a discussion. She was feeling down after a negative critique. It had sapped her motivation to write and made her doubt herself. I pondered the subject then imparted some rather trite and pompous (in retrospect) advice about not taking criticism too personally and learning what she could from it. It wasn't terribly helpful and truth be told I handle criticism worse than just about anyone I know, so I really should have kept my mouth shut. Karmically speaking, it was an invitation for the Universe to smite me. And smite me it did in short order.
I logged off, went to Goodreads, and immediately read my first really bad review since I published three months ago. I had gotten some ambivalent reviews before, but nothing truly bad. This one was bad.
The first thing I saw was two stars. My brain imploded. Jesus! Oh no! Oh God, no! Not that. Two! Two!!! Aargh! I closed my eyes Tupperware tight and took a deep breath. I opened one very slowly. It was still there. Two stars. After I purged a week's worth of meals and cracked open a Corona, I logged back onto Facebook and shared the ironic timing. The conversation that ensued was half wise, half hilarious. Thought you might enjoy reading it.
(The times are off because I worked on the graphics am and pm. Condensed entries.)
Before I read THE REVIEW:
After I read THE REVIEW:
I was so thankful to have these wonderful writers to talk me down and make light of this painful rite of passage. I've always known my time was coming sooner or later. But I had gotten comfortable since readers had generally seemed to like my book up to this point.
Now I'm going to practice what I preached to Charlotte. Learn what I can from the review and move on. But damn, it hurts. It really, really does.