I still pinch myself when I sit down at my writing desk each morning, flexing the creative muscle to see where we go to today, and see my novel sitting there on the desk. It’s a reminder of a long and sometimes difficult journey to this point… but one I cherish every moment of.
As I have said before: failure only made me work harder. It still does.
This novel is how I got here and really, as big as the mountain was I had to climb, it still only represents the beginning.
I long to say I have another novel coming out soon but I won’t rush it. I want the next one, which is quite different, to be great and it’s gonna take as long as it takes. The other two are now resting while I devote my time to this new one. When I have something I am ready to send my lovely agent then I will. We’ll see what happens. We have time to make it as perfect as we can.
I still have to learn, it’s a continual process of self-improvement.
Someone asked me recently how I deal with bad reviews. Thankfully I have very very few although I did see one recently. Shake it off. You will never please everyone. My absolute favourites, some classic books, have 1 star reviews.
I am thankful that the 1 star reviews are few and far between and that the people, some writers I really respect, have seen it as I intended and said some wonderful things, but no point in getting hung up by opinion. Does it hurt to get them? Yes, of course. If they make useful constructive criticism hats off, fair enough although it’s still just opinion (and unlikely on Amazon to be expert opinion) so I say to myself thank you for buying it, giving it a try to then I still brush it off. Only I know how much went into that book and the faith my publisher and editor had in me. And I take pride in all the positive things people say. Of course I welcome anything I can learn from but critiques are quite different to reviews. By the review stage it’s a done deal. If the 1-star review is merely a line or two with little to say I wonder what’s the point. Would I bother? No but people are entitled to have their say. Does it discredit me as an author? Of course not. I invested thousands of hours into getting that book right, how I wanted it and with guidance. So someone who invested a few hours in reading and then made a few comments is merely exercising their right to have a say. Personally, because I know how much hard work has gone into it and especially if it has been selected by a publisher and had the benefit of good editing, I prefer to say nothing than post a bad review; but then as a writer I am more sensitive to how it can affect people. But it is part of the business. So we have to deal with it.
Of course your work is your baby and very important to you. But we should never be too precious. In the writing stages I am never hurt by comments as it’s still a workable changeable thing. Once it has gone through all those stages and gone out there into the world, it is what it is and in my head a perfectly formed thing. Of course we all know there is always room for improvement, but I am determined that what is out there is the very best it can be. I always listen to opinion and if I think it’s valid there is no doubt I will take that to the next work. I try to please but at the end of the day you write for you, as you will be chasing the opinion of a handful who read, perhaps read distractedly, perhaps it’s not their thing, and they bang out a few words on a review. Are you going to let it hurt you? No. Move on. Put the stars back in order, see how they shine…
There is much to be thankful for so I focus on that. And learning and writing. And never stopping either.
I do what I love every day. How grateful I am.
Of course if you have read the novel and loved it, it always makes my day to see a great review, feel free… (he he)
Have a lovely day.
When the stars shine… you know you are on the right path.