Fred: Well, then, it is my duty, as a pirate, to tell you that you are too tender-hearted.
…The Pirates of Penzance
I’ve had scathing reviews that hurt my feelings, some that made me laugh and enjoy their cleverness, some that made me mad because I couldn’t see any connection in my book to the book the reviewer was trashing.
In short, I know that reviews are only tangentially connected to the material being reviewed. Reviews are separate works. I have no more right to swell with pride over a good one as I do to crawl under a rock because of a bad one.
Today Fever Mist got its first review and… it kind of broke my heart. Kind of made me not care anymore. Made me wonder why I do this.
It’s funny how you think you’ve made a little treat for your readers, something fun and interesting – a peek into a secret part of the characters lives. Something that doesn’t fit into the flow of a novel, but works as a short story or novella. Something fun. You spend weeks on it, and practically give it away.
And they don’t see it like that at all.
Don’t get me wrong. Writing stories, publishing them for other people to read, is a blast. The best thing I’ve ever done in my (long) life. But I think I need to crawl into my shell for a while.