I was interviewed by DigiWriting about, well, marketing books. You can read that interview here. But when I re-read it, I was surprised at how blunt I sounded about not reading my reviews.
The thing is, I love and respect my readers. I do want to hear what they have to say. I used to read all my reviews, but I found that, for me, I would get hung up on the bad and dismiss the good. It was very bad for my writing and my motivation.
I realize this makes me sound like I only want to hear good things about my work. Well . . . Yes, it would be nice if it was all good. I won’t lie; I’d love that. But I think there’s a big difference between constructive criticism and someone taking a dump on your hard work. And while I like to believe most reviewers mean well, as the saying goes, it only takes a few bad apples. On top of all this, the reviews system is terribly suspect and, I feel, broken. But that’s an entirely different discussion.
And really, reviews are only in part for the author, aren’t they? If someone really wants to tell me how they felt about my book, they can contact me directly via email; that info is right at the top of this page. Reviews are written for other readers. At least, that’s how it should be.
In short, for my mental health, I’ve begun staying away from my reviews. As I say in the interview, the good ones live in me for only a little while yet the bad ones stay with me forever. And I don’t need to carry around that kind of negativity. I prefer to focus on the next project and hope that I’m only improving as I go.