So this is my first blog post for the IWSG. It's a group I stumbled upon on Facebook. Their mission statement:
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.
Made it seem like a place that would be a perfect fit for me.
The first Wednesday of each month, we blog about our fears, insecurities, or even an accomplishment we had.
For my first post I'm tackling the idea of reviews. Before I became a writer I would read reviews of books I was interested in and I always went to the 1 and 2 star reviews first. Why? Well books get praise, I wanted to know what people didn't like about a book.
When I started my journey into self-publishing, the one thing I saw across all forums was don't respond to reviews. Good or bad. DON'T DO IT. Reading the negative reviews of other books, some were good in that they gave good feedback on why the story didn't work for them. Others...well they made me wonder if the reviewer was having a bad day when they let loose their 'frustration' on why they 'hated' the book.
Feedback is great for an author and I think that's especially true for Indie authors. We don't have the backing of a big publisher behind us, instead we need to know what the public feels and thinks about our work. However, for me, it's a double edged sword. No matter how many times I remind myself not everyone will like my book, it still hurts like hell to get that not so positive review. I could have 20 glowing reviews, but that 1 that is sorta meh, well that one would bother me. People say you have to grow a thick skin, don't let them get you down, well it's really easier said than done.
While I attempt to finally finish my second book, I've stopped reading reviews. If I happen to pop on to Goodreads, I make sure to block the top of my screen initially so I won't see if I got a new rating or review. I know me and if I see the number has changed, I'd be tempted to see what I got. I don't want that messing with my head, so I'm trying the out of sight out of mind approach for now. At least until I can get through book 2 that's taken me longer to write, partially because of the self-doubt I got after reading the meh reviews.
My journey as a writer is still in it's infancy. Hopefully with each new book, a new layer will grow to help shield me from the 'bad'.