A couple of weeks ago I received a 2/5 star review for Fire Always Burns.
It hurt a little bit. It was easy to shrug off the negative reviews for my previous works; Woman of the Billionaire's Dreams, Worthy of the Billionaire, and Ancient Loves are all shorter works. The represented about a weeks worth of time and effort and for the most part, the negative reviews tended to be poorly worded or short “I didn't like this” statements.
Not this review. It was long. It was accurate. The review hit on all the weak parts that I myself thought of the work. The things I wasn't sure how to address, the weak plot points, the issues I hoped were only things I could see. It is easy to see the flaws in ourselves, but to have others point them out is difficult.
I would have shrugged it off, my husband told me to ignore it, but it came when I really could have used a boost. It had been a slow sale's day and I was feeling dismal about my first novel. Despite my best efforts, the book just hadn't connected with readers. I was coming to terms with the idea that I had spent a month writing this book and it wasn't going to sell. Then a low review just kind of hammered that home. It shattered my confidence in the new novel I was working on. I just couldn't get the energy to commit again.
It has been a couple of weeks and I have gotten it out of my system. I am glad that Fire Always Burns is not the last novel I will ever write. I learned more writing it and promoting it than I ever could have hoped for. I hope to take this knowledge and use it to make the next one better. The novels are going to get better and better.
A famous author said that it takes a million words to become a decent writer. My mom told me that in a regular job, it takes about a year before you are truly competent at your job. I have not written a million words yet. I haven't even written half-a-million words yet, and I have only been doing this since November, but I am on my way.
I hope that people enjoy Fire Always Burns. I hope they have a few hours of being lost in a new place and falling in love. I hope to one day go back and write Luke and Britney's story. There is so much that I want to accomplish as a writer, so many stories that I want to tell, that I am excited to write again. The review phased me, but it isn't going to stop me.
Next stop: the million words mark