|Posted by Amy Armbruster, Author on September 22, 2013 at 4:05 PM|
Why I love bad reviews and other lies I tell myself…
Lie #1 I am an independent author and I write for me. While it is true it began that way, it quickly changed once I took the leap to self-publishing. As soon as I allowed others to read my stories, nasty little thoughts began to creep into my head. Will my readers enjoy this one? Is this what my readers will want? Whoa, there lady…didn’t you JUST say you write for you? Yep. And at one time, it was true, but now I write for us; meaning, myself, my readers, and my characters. This does cause some pressure…only if I let it.
Lie #2 I don’t care about the money. Like HELL I don’t! Once I realized I could make a paycheck doing something I love, I started to care about the money pretty quickly. With that said, I make a promise. I will ALWAYS strive to give my readers the best I have to offer and charge as little as I can for it. I do enjoy the paycheck when I see it, but the money isn’t all I care about. However, it does help with the bills and some of the fun stuff in life…like eating. So please, never download my work or any other author’s work illegally from pirated sites!
Lie #3 I didn’t send my books to a publisher because I wanted to be in control. While yes, I do love control, the fact is; I HATE rejection. The thought of being told my stories aren’t good enough for “mainstream” is heartbreaking, and I haven’t even heard those words yet. I’m afraid there is no way I will subject myself to them, nor do I ever want to be told my stories aren’t what is trending right now. In this sense, I very much write for me. When inspiration strikes, I like to go with it. I don’t want to be told I can’t or to copy whatever is popular just to make a dime. So, I guess this is a half-truth.
Lie #4 I am an awesome author! Ha! I can’t even type that with a straight face. While it is nice to hear from my readers, I don’t always believe it. I like to tell myself to be confident in my ability to tell a good story, but the truth is this - every time I publish a new novel or allow a beta reader to have a read, I am a bundle of nerves until that first review comes in!
Which brings us to the biggest lie ever told…
Lie #5 Psshhaw, that bad review didn’t bother me. What?! The truth is - it did bother me! Especially the very first one, which I received not even a month after publishing my basically unedited version of Whispering Coves, which went a little like this… “the book is sloppy and overlong” OUCH! And, “the author has serious issues with grammar”. I only cried for a little while over this. Unfortunately, I was just too new to the game to understand how thick-skinned one should be before subjecting their babies…I mean novels, to the world. Now, if I could look past the constructive criticism I could see some positive notes to the review, such as, “I believe Ms. Armbruster could really crank out some good stories.” or “Ms. Armbruster has some real writing talent and storytelling ability.” Luckily, I have learned to focus more on the positives and out of 52 reviews of that first novel, only 2 gave low ratings. I like those odds.
Those are the top 5 lies I tell myself when it comes to my writing career. I think once in a while, it is good to sit back and be refreshingly honest with yourself and those around you. Now that I am feeling better, I’m off to the Department of Motor Vehicles to put my real weight on my driver’s license…