Failure is a big F word in writing. In any aspect of life really. Most of us run from it or strive to combat it, but there is an even more difficult F Word that all authors must accept and cope with… Feedback.
Good writers get outside opinions of their projects. If not, you can’t know what works best. To craft a fully palatable story that resonates with readers, writers have to get their heads out of their butt-holes and accept that their ideas will take better shape with the help of feedback.
But mixed reviews are constant in this industry. The old adage, “You can’t please everyone,” is more relevant than ever. There are so many readers and a multitude of genres to play with. The options make a broader spectrum of opportunity. The more options, the more chance that someone will enjoy the work.
On the flip side, there will always be that one asshole who doesn’t get it. Luckily I haven’t run into this too much. First readers are usually kind. But some have their own preconceived notions about what your story should be.
This is where taste and style matter. If one reader loves your work and backs up why, then that is a win. I once had a reviewer who clearly stated that they didn’t like the genre I wrote in, but still reviewed it and I felt that their low opinion of the book was more based on their personal preference as opposed to my lack of ability.
Feedback makes you stronger. Accepting that you are not the end all be all is important, but it’s also pertinent that every creator understand that their work is their own and no one, not a critique, publisher, or sour reviewer can take that away.
This is why we have blurbs, synopsis, and other descriptive summaries to give people an idea of where we’re coming from. They’re not easy to write. After pouring your heart out for tens of thousands of words, pushing out some minuscule marketing tool is rough.
But harsh feedback is much more painful. I always prefer to sit down, do the work, and write the little burb or synopsis myself so I know that agents, publishers, and readers are hearing it from me.