Per your request, we're writing to notify you someone has reviewed yourOf course, I had a moment of panic. Since I hit that publish button I have had only 53 downloads, and I figured that just getting downloaded was goodish news. It meant my blurb and cover were doing their jobs well enough to entice people to check and see what I had written. However, I never thought about the natural progression of events. That someone might not only download the short story but also talk about if they liked it or *gulp* if they hated it.
book, Whichever Way The Wind Blows, at
For about five minutes I sat in a state of loathing. I knew it was going to be a terrible remark. They were going to be scathing and I was going to cry myself to sleep after I destroyed every other work in progress, because I was fooling myself into believing I could do this. I'm not Stephen King, I'm definitely not Brandon Sanderson, and I'm certainly never going to be likened to Robert Jordan.
Perhaps it is because all writers - deep down - are the equivalent of artistic cutters, but I clicked the link. If someone took the time to write something about my very first published work, then by God, I owed it to myself to see what they wrote.
And they liked it! Now I'm not going to delude myself and say they were floored by the story, and that it gave them goosebumps. The review was very simple.
4 stars and a note
A good start for a longer piece.Now, because I instantly went into digital stalker mode, I checked their profile to see if they were some sort of spam bot. Spammers attack emails and comments, why not reviews, right? Plus, I still couldn't quite believe someone had something positive to say about my story. But they had a wide variety of reviews, with a mix of ratings (some 1 and 2 stars up to 5 stars), and very specific remarks for some other people.
This appears to be a genuine review! A real person, who has an idea of what a 1 star and 5 star book is to them, thought mine was a 4 star story. I think I just peed a little.
Ok. So I'm going to take a breath now and get some perspective. Clearly, I shouldn't be over-reading this. This is a single review, but to say that it renewed my confidence would be an understatement. But I can say for a fact now, someone I have never met, read something I wrote, and they not only didn't hate it, but liked it enough to give it a positive review. This is validation I never knew I needed.
So to wrap this up and keep me from continually patting myself on the shoulder, I know a bunch of great authors out there say that you should never believe what critics say about you. "You will either have a too high opinion of yourself or will be crushed by the negative things you say."
But for any new authors out there here is advice from one newbie to another: it is okay to enjoy your first positive review. Don't think it means you are the next big thing and certainly don't give up your day job just yet, but let the fact that someone took pleasure in your writing renew your spirit and determination. You are a writer and you wrote something the connected with someone. That is something few people can say, and you get to allow yourself to enjoy that.
Don't believe everything they say about you, but it is okay to believe some of it. Just don't let it go to your head and don't let it destroy your will to write.