This blog is going to offend someone!
If you can’t take public opinion; if all you get from bad reviews of your writing is high blood pressure and a migraine, put down your pencil. If you feel that your writing is so perfect that any criticism, constructive or otherwise, offends you, turn off your computer, and find another hobby, because you will never make it as a writer.
When I was in fourth grade, I read a book on writing. In the introduction, the author made a comment that has stuck with me through the years. “If you started writing for fame or money, you will not have a future in writing. You should write because you have a passion for the written word, and you have something to say.” If you write for these two reasons, fame and money may follow, but if it doesn’t you will keep writing because it is an inseparable part of what you are.
The ruling in a Russian district court awarded a writer 12,000 rubles (1000 dollars) to be paid by a journalist who wrote a “bad” book review of his book, “Gemini”. I don’t know what she said, but he said that her review caused him “high blood pressure, head aches, and a broken heart,” and that his family suffered. What this ruling says is that any time you are offended by what someone wrote you are entitled to money. I believe this opens the door to censorship, and it should never have been allowed in the courtroom.
My view about reviews is the same as comments. If you didn’t read my blog on comments, or how to take them, it was posted on March 16th, the rule here it you should never take comments or reviews personal. The review is an individual’s opinion on your work, not you.
Whether people realize it or not, it take a lot of courage on the writer’s part to express their true opinion where the world can see it. Even in today’s world the most influential writers are the ones who don’t let public opinion and political correctness stop them from saying what needs to be said.
You may disagree with what a reviewer says, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to express their opinion. There is something that can be learned from both good and bad reviews, if you look closely. No matter what kind of reviews you get, don’t take it personally, and remember, you can’t please everyone, so don’t try. If you are happy with your writing, what does it matter what others think.
Challenge: Look at every review as an opportunity to learn something, and never lose any sleep from a bad review.