Dealing with Harsh Criticism

In October my book „George The Man Who Lost Himself“ was published. Since then, I have actually reached one or the other reader and even attracted a few bloggers attention. This makes me utterly proud, especially as the feedback so far has been extremely good. Naturally, there were people who simply aren’t into the genre. But it’s okay, I can live with that. I myself don’t like all kinds of genre either. In fact, I was particularly pleased with the feedback from the enthusiastic readers that my book was so unique. There is a growing hope that my book will stand out from the rest.

As I mentioned in another post, I initiated a readership on the platform Lovelybooks.  Beforehand, I raffled off my book ten times to lure participants. By the way, the reader’s round is still running. After the first really great feedback, for some time nothing else happened in the readership – until last Sunday. The night before, one of the readers wrote a comment on not being very enthusiastic about my story. It hurt and I would have liked to have asked him right away if he had ever bothered himself to write a story. But I stayed calm and even responded to his comments. The bottom line is that he still was polite despite everything, even though he described my writing style as bumpy and unpolished. However, I was able to put that away quite easily, as I was praised especially for my writing style from the other readers.

There is one thing, however, I just can’t get over: he called my story constructed. Of course, I also had to laugh a little, since fiction simply is a construct as it’s made up. Nevertheless, this word hung on me all week the very moment I tried to work on mymanuscripts. Constructed. Far-fetched; that’s what it sounded like to me. As if I were a kid caught lying.

Eventually, however, he had made it through the whole book and left me a two-star review on Amazon. What sounds like a disaster, however, was by no means one. The review was extremely detailed, included one or two good things, and was ultimately written in such a way that it could probably even arouse the interest of potential readers. In the course of the week, I also got three positive feedbacks in the reader’s round.

What also hurt me was the fact that one of my readers, who is writing a book herself, read this review. This, of course, had unsettled her, and that being an author you already have so many self-doubts. How could someone who had also received the book as a gift leave such a critique to a young author? You have to get used to something like that. Yes, you really have to. When you spotlight yourself at the same time you make yourself vulnerable. Every reader should be able to express their opinion about a book frankly. But please do it with respect and always consider how much time, love and self-doubt is behind it.

Anyway, this one experience in the negative area, it will probably have changed my writing lastingly. I will never write like I did before. But I’m going to make something positive out of it. I want to grow on this criticism and you young authors you can do that too. Always believe in yourself.