Bad Reviews: Learn To Live With Them


Having my work published means that I am, at any given time, susceptible to bad reviews. Whether someone thinks my writing it just plain awful, or maybe it is just bad. Either way, it can happen to anyone at any time. It even happens to the “great” authors.

Whilst taking a break from editing Project Oliver (Which is still nameless!), I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and happened upon a post from Anne Rice, who actively contributes to her fan page (I wish she would post more writing-related things, but that’s beside the point). Now, when I think of Anne Rice, I think of Vampires, Lestat, and how much I enjoyed her book “Interview with the Vampire.” Hopefully I’ll get around to finishing that entire series someday. But of course not everyone feels the same way I do. In fact, Ms. Rice posted this on her fan page today:

Anne_Rice_Bad_Review

Ms. Rice openly posted a 1-star-review of “Interview with the Vampire.” Of course she has already made her career as an author and I’m sure this won’t harm her sales in any way, like it might for a newly-published author. However, I still think this is a bold move for her. She has accepted that everyone gets bad reviews, and she isn’t so arrogant as to think she has to pretend she doesn’t get them and only highlight the good reviews.

I’ve never received a truly “hateful” review, but I know I will receive one at some point. And, yes, I’m more than certain I will be upset about it for a short while. But it’s post like these from Anne that help me to remember that bad reviews are going to happen to everyone, and that I–and all serious writers–need to get past them and get back to writing!

Have you received any bad reviews? How did you deal with them? If you haven’t received any, how do you think you will handle them?

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5 thoughts on “Bad Reviews: Learn To Live With Them

  1. Reblogged this on Ashley Laura Smith's Corner and commented:
    I must say this was truly inspirational. I know that’s one of my hardest parts about writing. Will anyone like this when I’m done? Sometimes I write some really controversial stuff so it’s going to happen one day. I hope that day’s far away and I have a great support system behind me!

  2. I’ve gotten bad reviews…they aren’t fun, but you have to shake them off if you’re going to succeed as a writer. Usually I just feel bad that the person didn’t enjoy my work, because I want them to enjoy it and don’t want them to feel like they wasted their time/money buying it. Bad reviews motivate me to write better (assuming the reviews point out places where the writing/story could be improved. Some reviews are just written by peeved people wanting to rant, and those are best ignored.)

  3. I have been fortunate, so far that I haven’t received any bad reviews. Of course it helps that the one ePub I did put out was free. I have received negative feedback during the writing process that for whatever reason was nearly crippling. I had two options lay down the characters and world and move on to something else or address the issues with the work. It is fortunate that the critical came before any major commitment of time so I could recover and improve.

  4. The only bad reviews I’ve gotten are from family members – who have a hard time with my fiction because they think it means it’s about MY life (they have a hard time with make-believe). Bad reviews are hurtful, particularly because we writers have soft shells. But if we believe in what we’re writing, we pretty much have to ignore them. Thanks for a good post!

  5. I’ve yet to receive a bad review but am wary of the day when it will come because it is inevitable. I am trying to develop a thick skin. Recently I attended a writers’ workshop where my work was critiqued by everyone. Yep… a bitter pill to swallow getting bad reviews. Thanks for the great post. 🙂

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