Stars and Gripes
You have to develop a tough skin when you're a writer. If you show your work to anyone other than a considerate spouse or a loving parent, then you're bound to receive feedback that isn't necessarily lofty or flattering. In fact, it's amazing how many people are willing to tell you exactly what they find lacking in your writing and storytelling. You don't even have to ask!
If you think that getting lousy reviews gets easier the longer you're at this game, you would be wrong. I have to force myself to recall all the good things that have been written about my work, but I can recall all the really nasty, mean things instantly. Those bad reviews fester, rising to the surface of my mind any time I falter, have a bad writing day, struggle with a plot, or rewrite a scene over and over again.
Since I know how important reviews are to writers, I do review books on Amazon and Goodreads. If I don't like the book and can't give it more than two stars, I don't post a review. Three stars get a review that isn't particularly favorable, but I attempt to point out what I didn't like about the book and why and I mention that others will absolutely have no problem with it and that this is merely my biased opinion. Because that's the truth, folks. Just because you don't like a book doesn't mean it's terrible and that you should tell others NOT to purchase it.
Which brings me to a review recently posted for one of my books. The reader did not like that book at all, but went one better by stating that, although the book had received five stars and great praise, people should not purchase it because this person thought it was predictable and poorly plotted and she/he hated the characters.
Let me point out that the review I received before this one was one of the best I've had in quite awhile and it was delivered by someone who said she was a writer herself. That makes it even sweeter. I was soaring and giddy after reading that one. Then the next one sent me nosediving back to earth. Ouch.
That's how it is, though. One review makes you feel warm and fuzzy and then another review makes you wonder how you could offend someone so thoroughly.
The good thing about having written for most of my life and having my first novel published in 1979 is that I know in my heart of hearts that I can write and tell a fine story. Otherwise, I would not have made my living as a writer my entire adult life. It's the only job I've had since graduating from college. Writer/editor. So, I must be pretty good at it. I know that I can't please everyone and only a fool would try. But the slings and arrows still manage to penetrate my thick skin every so often.
I get blue and feel sorry for myself. Thank God, it's fleeting. I reread my many good reviews, suck it up, and get back to my current manuscript in progress. It's what writers do. We don't write because we choose to -- writing chose us. Along with that, we humbly ask for reviews to attract other readers. Occasionally, we get a review that is difficult to get past, but we soldier on.
Reminds me of something I read on Facebook. "This, too, shall pass. It will hurt like you're passing a bladder stone, but it will pass."