Pink Heart Society regular, Joss Wood, is talking about the business of writing, reviews and taking stuff personally…
It’s been a tough couple of weeks, not only for me but for some of my friends. My husband has been really sick, we’re trying to make a bunch of decisions while neither of us are feeling well, physically or emotionally, and we’re tired. It’s been tough and then I saw a review someone wrote regarding one of my books…
Ouch. It wasn’t pretty.
However, being in business, specifically being in business lobbying, taught me a very valuable lesson that I’ve taken through to my writing career.
Don’t take “stuff” personally.
Men are so much better than this than woman are, we take everything to heart…frequently when it’s really not necessary. It’s hard not to do, especially when you feel like you are fighting an attack from all corners. Men are able to see differentiate the issues and say this is about the issue not about me and it’s a trait that I think woman can learn from men.
I’ve learned that a criticism from my editor or agent or a bad review is not about me, about who I am, it’s about my work. Two totally separate issues. Yes I put myself into my work but it’s not the sum total of who I am. Any issue to do with my work is not all about me.
And that’s hard to remember when I am feeling tired or my kids are sick or I’m fighting with my husband. It’s hard not to feel personally slapped when you are taking strain in other areas of your life. When I am feeling fragile it’s really important for me to look at the issues clearly and separate them, to remind myself that the person criticizing my book does not know me and is judging what she is reading, not judging me. And there might be a million reasons why she didn’t like my book; it might have pushed a button for her, she might just think it’s a crap book. That’s okay. I made the choice to put the book out there in the world, I have to roll with the punches. In this case, it’s just business.
And her criticizing my book is no more a reflection on her as it is a reflection on me.
It’s just about the book. One book of sixteen. It’s just business.
It’s just about the book. It’s just business. Every time I say that the sting lessens. And I feel a little more free.
How do you cope with bad reviews? And how do you lessen the sting? Join us in the comments!
Joss's latest book, Claimed by the Warrior, is available for preorder now at Tule:
Bad boy Jed Hamilton is ex-special Forces and a current undercover recovery agent who's mentally and physically tough, a lone wolf and, above all, violently allergic to commitment, permanence, and anything wedding related. So when he learns, in the very sexy McKenna Dixon’s bridal salon, that his younger sister is getting married and wants him to be her “man of honor”, Jed wishes he was anywhere but in Cape Town. Especially now that he'll be spending more time around the one woman who makes him consider perilous phrases like “what if” and “maybe”…
McKenna Dixon loves bad boys, but her past experience with the species has led to nothing but pain and heartbreak. Jed Hamilton is exactly the type of man she should avoid, but when a nasty incident threatens her and her daughter, Jed immediately appoints himself as their protector, even though it’s not a part of his job description.
McKenna is determined not to allow another bad boy to flip her life inside out, and Jed is determined to retain his bachelor status to keep travelling and working. But, as they both discover, love does its best work when busy making other plans…