Last week was a big one for this Restless Writer, with two major happenings: first, I launched my blog (www.loridyan.com), where I can wax poetic on such lofty topics as middle-aged bra shopping and the perils of giving up sugar; the second, a direct result of the former, was getting my site flagged via Facebook as offensive.
As many writers know, the moment you start putting your work out there (through the web, public readings, or print), it’s fair game for people to judge. The idea of someone evaluating your best efforts can be terrifying, but the exhilaration that results from connecting with a reader can’t be beat.
Finding out that a person had taken the time to report me, because he or she was so offended by what I’d thought was funny writing, was a soul-crushing feeling. Like being kicked in the spiritual nuts.
I wanted to turn off the computer, put down the pen and never write again. All of the positive comments from those discovering my words didn’t matter in the face of such public rejection.
I soon gave myself a reality check – being dissed by a disgruntled relative or friend-of-a-friend wasn’t so bad. It’s not like I’d had a fatwa placed on my writing. Also, if I’m going to be a professional fiction writer, I need to get a thicker – I’m talking rhino thick – skin. Reviews will never be uniformly positive (they may even be uniformly negative) and I must learn to take the bad with the good, or at least ignore it. So really, this whole episode was a wonderful lesson. A gift, even.
But then, as often happens, I got feisty. And a feisty Restless Writer is not to be messed with. I promptly dashed off this comment on the (now defunct) post link:
Apparently someone reported my blog link as offensive. It can be accessed here: loridyan (dot) com. Whoever it is that finds me so offensive, may I suggest that you either don’t click the link or perhaps read the sentence in context (not just the word “clock”, which was mispronounced without the “L” by a 3 yr old). Also, you can suck it.
I’ve promised myself that, should I ever be lucky enough to have my work professionally reviewed, I will never tell any critics, not matter how critical they are, to suck it. But I can still think it.
How do you deal with negative reviews?