Raves, Reviews and Recalibration

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starsWriting for a living is a wonderful thing. Each day, you grab your mug of favorite warm beverage, fire up the word processor and set out to create worlds that stimulate the imagination. Just like sex, when it is good, it is very good, but when it is bad, you just want it to be over. There are no overs when you publish. You put the work out there and you are subject to the scrutiny of every Tom, Dick and Jane. Each day, your reviews come pouring in. Some of these are raves about your work while others can be just plain mean. However, if you are to be a full-time writer, some of the reviews will uplift your spirit while others will force you to recalibrate your thinking.

Last week I celebrated have three of my works in the Amazon Top 20. I felt like I was on top of the world. The reviews were good and coming in steady, my rankings were climbing and it was translating into cha-ching. I was doing the happy dance.
This week, I received several one and two star reviews. In all honestly, not everyone is going to like what you write, some people are going to outright hate your work, but it is the wise man who attempts to understand. I consider myself a thinker. I attempted to understand.

review

Okay, as far as I got was the four hours. The positive is that she read the whole thing. The negative, it took her four hours. It is a short story.

If this had been my very first review, I would have unpublished the work, went back to the writing-table and recalibrated the work. I do not dismiss her review. If she was confused, then that is something I must address, but first let me look back through the other reviews and see if this was an issue with anyone else.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was great, July 30, 2013
By romance reader “j” – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Few More Nights (Slice of Life) (Kindle Edition)
This was a great read. The story was funny, and the story flow so smoothly I finish reading this in about 45 minutes. Can’t wait for her next story. Love the characters.

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!!!!, August 2, 2013
By Dora James – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Few More Nights (Slice of Life) (Kindle Edition)
This book truly blew me away. It was loving, heartfelt and funny. I love the pace of your story, giving enough details to the right area and still painting picture of the secondary characters without going on too much. Funny yes the part that described the bishop wife had me laughing until I cried. The diversity in your stories are amazing.
Dora James

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny!!, August 4, 2013
By Membsie “Love to Read” (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Few More Nights (Slice of Life) (Kindle Edition)
I must say I didn’t read the first book of this series but found out all I needed to make this work in the first chapter. I will go back and purchase the first later.

This book was good and very funny to me. I must say that I re-read the chapter where she went to Alaska 3 times and put it in my favorites to read again. If you read no other parts of the book you should read that part. I laughed so hard, couldn’t believe what I was reading, and read it again. Toooooo funny!

Looking for other books by this author.

Good job!

5.0 out of 5 stars This was great, July 30, 2013
By romance reader “j” – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Few More Nights (Slice of Life) (Kindle Edition)
This was a great read. The story was funny, and the story flow so smoothly I finish reading this in about 45 minutes. Can’t wait for her next story. Love the characters.

Nope, out of 20 odd reviews, she was the only one. I am writing this to tell you one thing: writers, stay true to yourself and your craft. I will add one final thought in closing.

This past July, Oprah went to Switzerland for Tina Turner’s wedding and entered a boutique. She was looking at a $38,000 purse. The sales clerk refused to show her the bag because she told Ms. Winfrey, “it’s too expensive for you.”

At the end of the day writers, it doesn’t matter how good you are, how many rave reviews you get or how much money you have. There will always be that one person to make you stop and say, “What?” We need those people just to remind us we are just one in the pile of faceless wordsmiths hoping to be recognized. Those people also keep up honest. My next story, I will ensure there is clarity and no one can be confused. Like Oprah, I want to be recognized for being the one that stands out, but I also must recalibrate my thinking.

Sometimes, some people are just clueless. The best thing you can sometimes say is nothing.

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One thought on “Raves, Reviews and Recalibration

    pamelamorrisbooks said:
    August 14, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Agree 100%. Oddly enough I am for some odd reason HOPING for a bad review on my novel “Blood of the Scarecrow” so I figure out how to make it better. I did get some really good constructive criticism in one of the first reviews, though he still gave me 4 Stars, and it will definately make me put more thought into future stories.

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