Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In my work, I feel free to delve into all sorts of darkness, but I have a tendency to shy away from negative stuff in my life. In an effort to not just be Pollyanna-ish about my book release, I thought I'd share a couple of bad reviews.

This guy calls Self Storage a "really lousy book"

and

this reviewer deems it "an underwhelming piece of chick lit" (first time my work has been labeled chick lit as far as I know!)

I've always known that not everyone will like my work. I'll admit it stings to read these reviews, but it's easy enough to get past that, to let it go (and try to learn from it when the shoe fits). I just wanted to share with you that this being-published experience is not all hearts and roses!

I suppose in part I want to be honest about this because I don't want to unwittingly inspire envy by acting as if everything is perfect. My friend Peggy recently wrote a gorgeous meditation on envy which was inspired in part by an email I sent to friends and family announcing my book release. It makes me sad to know that my news brought up these feelings in her, but I'm grateful that she shared those feelings, that she opened up a larger dialog. Dr. Sue has also explored envy amongst writers, a subject I think is important to explore--it's hard to create a truly supportive community of writers if we don't acknowledge all aspects of the writing life. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter...

3 comments:

wheeler said...

geez, i don't know if what i said qualifies as a "review." more like a nasty rant by an unliterary and unknown blogger.

anyway, mighty big of you to link to it.

Carleen Brice said...

You're brave! Kudos for sharing the bad with the good! My first novel isn't coming out until next year, and already I'm nervous about reviews.

And I'm already dealing with the weirdness that getting a publisher brings. It does freak people out. I understand it though. Even though I wish I didn't, I've envied other people's successes. It's an icky feeling, to envy and to be envied, so I'm working on not contributing to the dynamic.

gayle said...

Thanks, Wheeler (fun to hear from you!) and Carleen.

Good luck with your book, Carleen--you're in for a wild ride! I hope you'll enjoy every minute of it. Let me know if there is anything I can do...

xo
gayle