Eating Rotten Tomatoes: Guest Post {A.R. Draeger}

**Brought to you as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop**

***Be sure to click and visit the other great authors***

When a Reviewer Throws a Rotten Tomato: Moving Past Your First One Star Review

By A.R. Draeger

Learning to take, let alone welcome, constructive criticism was a hard lesson for me. Writing is a very personal endeavor, and although we do our best to distance ourselves from it, our ego is wrapped up in every word we leave on the page. For some of us, it takes years to lower our defensive walls.  Some of us never do, and this is in response to words that, for all intents and purposes, are meant to grow our abilities, strengthen our stories, and build us up on the whole to be the authors we have it in us to be.

Yet it still stings.

The day comes when you throw your first book out into the wide open world, and it’s terrifying. Your stomach will twist in knots, and despite however many times you have reminded yourself that you will keep writing regardless of what people think of you, your heart will skip a beat when it comes to your attention that someone has left you a review.

Don’t read reviews. Don’t pay attention to them. There’s a reason celebrities don’t Google themselves.

You repeat this mantra, but still, the temptation is there, feasting on each incoming review until you can no longer help yourself. Perhaps you were trying to get ACX set up for an audiobook audition when you looked down and realized your star rating was lower than you last checked on Amazon, as was my case. Perhaps your mom calls you from four states away to tell you, as was the case for another author.

You click, and you find it. Maybe there’s more than one. Maybe there is a whole mess of them.

They are one-star reviews, and they are ugly. They will have subject headings, such as: “Awful! Eye-gouging horrible!”

You’ll find hate-spewing, author-bashing, insult-flinging trash. Those are the more polite ones. The rude ones will spoil everything they can possibly find in your book, deride you for issues that – had they actually taken the time to read the book – would not have been ‘issues’, and proceed to blast not only you as a writer, but every writer that you may or may not be associated with.

The ones that are belligerent are the easiest to digest. They feel little more than bullies on a kindergarten playground. The better written, more eloquent ones are a bit of a gut-punch when you look over them. When you are new to the writing world, those are the ones that take you by surprise – the ones that punch you in the gut, that make you wonder and doubt if you should be writing at all.

It’s those you have to dust off, and believe me, it’s not easy.

How do you recover? How do you cross the bridge when the trolls come out to play?

Simply put: one foot in front of the other.

  • Write, and don’t stop. Why should you care about their opinions? Why should you care about anyone’s but your own? Write because you want to. Publish because you want to. They can hate it, they can love it, whatever.
  • Realize that you may have touched a nerve. Everybody has baggage, and their reactions to you may be from the stuff they are carrying and not what you’re writing.
  • Remember everyone gets bad reviews. Look up the classics. Yikes.
  • Perceived value may also play a part. More independent writers are noticing that when they place their books on sale at $0.99 or give it away for free, it attracts more negative reviews in proportion to the positive. The more we pay, the more we tend to value something.
  • Also remember that the internet provides a mask for bullies. People who are jaded, perhaps failed writers themselves, too afraid to strike out on their own or try again, that hide behind the anonymity of a screenname. Feel sorry for them. I guarantee you they spent more time drafting that so-called review they left you than what they spent reading your book, or what they probably even spend smiling in a day.

The truth of it all is that this situation will come about with every work you release. With time and perseverance, your skin will thicken to the point that you’ll find such reviews completely laughable – and with any luck, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

In the meantime, look up authors reading their bad reviews online and know, with pride, that you have joined a club of sorts that not many have the dedication, determination, or courage to join: that of published authors. So let them throw their rotten tomatoes. They can’t take away your books, nor your hard work, and truth be told?

They just wish they could be you.

Keep writing.

Author Amber (A.R.) Draeger

**Brought to you as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop**

***Be sure to click and visit the other great authors***

~ Of Ocean and Ash ~

Of Ocean and Ash on Amazon now.

AmberHeadshotA.R. (Amber) Draeger resides in rural Texas with her husband, Josh, and son, Logan. When not writing or reading, she is watching reality TV shows or tromping through the nearby woods.

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