The hardest part of writing a book is not the writing, it's the releasing. Sure, you have to make yourself sit and write, you have to read it over and over, you may even get stuck on a plot point or two, but all of that pales in comparison to the act of sending it out into the world to be judged. Once birthed into the ether it is vulnerable to attack, you are vulnerable to attack.
And like any egomaniacal sucker, I can't help but compulsively check my Amazon page for reviews. A great review and I'm convinced this book is going to change my life! A bad review and I'm convinced it's all over, I'm dead in the water, I should take the pathetic craptacular down so no one else will be subjected to it! Bad review days are tough days. And not just for me, but everyone around me. My poor friends and family are constantly thrust into pep talk mode to keep me from derailing completely over some unknown persons complaint about typos. I realize I'm becoming a tiresome, well, more tiresome, person.
So, why do I do it? Why look? Why can't I decide not to read any reviews, good or bad? Just let the Universe handle it? Um, because I'm desperate for affirmation even as I cower in fear of potential condemnation. Duh. And I'm a bit of a control freak. As if by clicking on that Amazon page to monitor the happenings and goings on is any type of control. It isn't, but it feels like it is. And that is where I begin to recognize the tell tale signs of delusion.
But imagine if you put pictures of your newborn baby on Facebook and amongst the oohs and ahhs of "what a pretty baby" you got, "That is one ugly ass baby!" Or, "the mother should have controlled her eating because that newborn is the size of my twelve year old." Or, "Is that Benjamin Buttons?" That would really, really, suck holes, right?
Now, my hubs had warned me the internets is a cruel bitch and I was going to have to get over it. I'm not much of a get over it kind of person, but in an effort to prepare myself I looked up several of my favorite books on Amazon and Goodreads to see what the worst of the worst had to say about them. Yowza!
What is it about the internets that makes people be super shitty? Because I can guarantee you the same person who writes a three paragraph review calling out an author for writing the worst book ever written would never dare say that to the author's face. The amount of effort and time spent on tearing someone down is pretty impressive (also depressive). We get it, you found 1970s India a depressing setting, but did you have to call it a word turd?
I'm not saying people can't give honest opinions, but you can be critical without being hateful, right? People get on Goodreads and tear books a new asshole! Even the most universally beloved books will have someone taking a dump on it. Ugh, internets, ugh. When did it get so personal?
The worst review I've received was from someone who didn't even buy it, but borrowed it! They hated it so much they needed grief counseling to get over burning their once a month borrow on my book of doo doo.
I totally get my book is not for everyone. Hell, I'm not for everyone. I also realize I'm a terrible proofreader and there are typos (trying to fix them), but I wrote my book for me and those special souls like me. So, I'm sorry if you waste your precious time on my doo doo book, I'm sorry you blew $2.99 on it (or your one monthly borrow) but, mostly, I'm sorry your sense of humor is doo doo.
In the immortal words of Whitley's therapist on A Different World (Debbie Allen), I need to relax, relate, release. But then what will I fret about?