How to Survive When Receiving Harsh Criticism

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. As some of you may know, earlier this month I released my novel Love, Caribbean Style, which is published by The Oaklea Press. The cool thing about having your book professionally published, as opposed to self-published, is that trained marketing professionals help you distribute it widely so that it gets a lot of attention. This is great, but there is a downside to the additional promotion. I finally got that dreaded thing all writers fear…a one-star review. It’s bad enough that I sometimes suffer from imposter syndrome, a condition where a writer feels incapable of writing decent material. I must admit that when I read the negative review, it just about killed me. Then I put it into perspective. I have a total of 13 reviews on Amazon, with an overall score of four out of five stars. I can deal with that.

Quote of the week: “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” –Harper Lee

Book of the week: This week I want to tell you a fascinating story about a woman named Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. She wrote the book Frankenstein, which made its debut in 1818. It has been said that Mary and a few other people were stuck indoors due to inclement weather for a long stretch during the summer of 1816 and passed the time telling ghost stories. It supposedly took her about nine months to shape the monster just the right way. I have not really been a “horror” fan, but the fact that it took so long to get her character just right fascinates me as a writer. I cannot imagine taking that long to work on a novel. For all of you suspense/horror fans out there, happy reading. 

Joke of the week: I have a friend who writes songs about sewing machines. He’s a Singer songwriter, or sew it seams.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: I know it was silly to get upset that someone had a low opinion of my book. Writers are told repeatedly that not everyone will like what they write. I write clean romance novels. I decided when I first had the idea of a story that I wanted not only my children, but any student I encountered at school to be able to read my books. I would feel very uneasy trying to explain inappropriate content to someone close to me. The idea of people occasionally not liking your work goes with just about any job out there. Be sure to do whatever you do to the best of your abilities, and forget the rest. Be the best you can be. We are all different, with different interests and skill sets. It would be crazy to think that we are going to please everybody.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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