A little before us writers hit the ‘puberty’ stage, our teachers take us aside from the non-writers and introduce to the facts of life.
Oh, wait… that’s the birds and the bees talk I’ve been debating about having with the bratlet.
But it’s not a bad idea. Especially when I see long time, very popular talented writers making…. hmmmmm… how to put this politely…I don’t think there is a way. Sadly, some writers are in dangerous need of a brain-to fingertips-to keyboard filter.
There are certain facts of life for a writer and there’s just no way around them.
- Writers will get bad reviews.
- Writers cannot please everybody.
- Writers will on occasion get sucky covers.
- Writers will on occasion have an editor that either doesn’t care for their writing or doesn’t care for the writer as a person.
- Writers will get ideas rejected.
- Writers will get frustrated.
These are just the facts of life. Nothing can change them. The bestsellers have it happen and the new author just starting out will have it happen. Going all Hyde on displeased readers, unimpressed reviewers, editors, etc will not keep it from happening again.
And…if you do it in public…you risk making an ass of yourself. No matter how well you think it’s justified, no matter how much work you put into a book, no matter how nervous you are about the book, no matter what, you run that risk.
Writers want to think that everybody is going to love every single word they’ve written. I’ve said more than once that I’d read a grocery list written by Nora Roberts or PBW-I’d love to think that somebody out there will one day say, I’d read Shiloh Walker’s grocery list, I love her that much, I don’t expect it. I can’t please everybody. No writer can.
What you have to do is write the best book you can…and then let it go at that. If you have unhappy readers, you can either wallow in misery, taking every word to heart and get depressed, you can get offended and totally pissed, or you can analyze what made them unhappy. Is there a reason? Was the book less than your best or did the book just not mesh with the reader’s taste?
If the book wasn’t as good as it could have been, try to fix that on the next story.
If the story just didn’t mesh, you have to just let it go and move on. I speak from experience about this. I get bored easy so I don’t always write the same ‘type’ of story. I don’t want to be just a ‘romantica’ author. I don’t want to be just a ‘paranormal’ author. Yet the readers who started reading me through my erotic romances aren’t always happy when they realize that some of my books aren’t erotic.
I’m fine with that. Yeah, it sucks that they don’t enjoy my writing enough to read everything I’ve written and judge it on it’s own merit, but that’s the way it goes.
Some are a little disappointed when the book they picked up has no paranormal elements. Again, I’d like them to judge the book on it’s own merit and not compare it to what I’ve written in the past and expect the same genre, but the reader is entitled to like what they want to and dislike what they want to.
I’ve had a couple of less than wonderful covers and I’ve had editors that I seriously clashed with. I’ve had lousy reviews and I’ve had reviews who’ve basically said the book wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.
But for every negative thing, there’s been five or ten or a hundred positive. When I get negative feedback, I go back, evaluate and see if maybe there was something I could improve on. If there is…then I make an effort to do so. If the negativity comes because the reader just didn’t mesh with the story (ie: they expected erotic romance and it was more mainstream) I’m fine with that. I wrote the story the way it played out in my head, I wrote the best story I could and that’s all I can do.
The very worst thing a writer can do is throw a public hissy fit over these things. Well, unless it’s implying the negativity is part of some huge conspiracy.