September 2013 I published my first book, Only Half Alive. I was so ecstatic to send this book into the world (and stressed, but that's beside the point). I hit publish and then I proceeded to refresh Amazon every 2.5 seconds to ensure I didn't miss it when the book actually went live.
After the book went live, I didn't stop refreshing. I was going crazy waiting for the reviews to come in. Literally, I was consumed with this idea that I was going to get a hundred five star reviews that first day! Oh how silly I was!
Reviews did start coming in. Slowly, they trickled onto Amazon. A few were good, a few were bad, some were great, and some made me want to quit writing. But despite the bad reviews getting me down, I KEPT CHECKING them! Why? Why did I keep reading them?!
But no, it gets worse! As if the bad reviews on Amazon weren't enough, I made the very terrible decision to look at the reviews on Goodreads. To say I was upset was is an understatement. I cried. For days! I just couldn't understand how people could be so mean. Sure, the book has some mistakes! It isn't perfect, but to rip it apart in such a horrifying manner? Would I ever be able to write again?
Well, yes! It took a few weeks but I did recover. And you know what happened? I stopped reading reviews. I kept writing. And I stopped reading reviews all together. For weeks, I'll go without checking rankings or reviews.
And it has been wonderful! My own worst critic is myself so why would I torture it further by allowing a strangers opinion to tear me down? And you know what else happened? I learned! Though harsh, some of the reviews were quite helpful in pin pointing exactly why they didn't like it. What made them give it a bad review. And I have learned from those mistakes because some of the complaints, were actual things that should have been *avoided/fixed in the first place.
*Some people have asked me if I ever plan on re-releasing the book so I can fix the errors and to this my answer is a **definite no. Not because it can't be done. But because I don't believe in hiding my mistakes. I made them, I learned from them, and now I have moved on.
**By definite no I mean, not any time soon. Hopefully, eventually, I will go back through and at least edit the book and re-upload it.