Sunday, July 12, 2015

Escaping the Lion's Den

I have a book re-release on Friday, and while trying to hunt down a copy of the original blurb, I came across some old, somewhat cruel reviews of that particular book. It was about as much fun as getting a case of brain freeze from a slushie you never wanted in the first place. I never purposely seek out this kind of thing, aka reviews, because reading reviews of my own work does nothing but make me cringe for days and question myself as a bipedal human. I'm an introvert, and really I don't need that kind of stress.

However, tonight I've been full of fifteen different kinds of fuck-up, so while nabbing the old blurb (which I realized after-the-fact must be rewritten because it's utter shit), I spotted a few words of a review - not even the full monty - about the book I'm about to "re-release" as an indie title. Of course the pensmith took great pride in informing the world that my short story blows a whole bag of dicks, and for a minute I started to feel my eyes burn a little...you know, how it get when you're tired, you're in desperate want of a 5 gallon bucket of watermelon vodka to soak your head in, and a good cry before you pass out on the couch watching Looney Toons. Yeah. That.

And then, I decided that I'm just too tired to care. Too, too tired to waste an emotion on it. Just like that time many, many years ago, when a couple of writerly people I knew from the yahoo loops thought it would be funny and cute to mock one of my books in a youtube video (not naming me personally, but I was the obvious target because it featured the plot of my book, my characters, and that book had just been nominated for an award that had been announced on that loop.) So yeah. In Robot Chicken fashion, it was pretty easy to tell what was going on.

After watching that video, for a few seconds I was hurt, then I realized these people were not "friends" even in the professional sense. Probably only a few people laughing at the video were aware it was about my work. After that realization, all my remaining fucks left the building, but thanks for going to all that effort on my part, ladies. I even gave the video a big personal thumbs up, because the whole mess had a big ol' whiff of bitchery attached to it, and because fuck all y'all.

I backed out of the lion's den that day, and I did tonight too. In fact, it was easier this time. It hurt less. It numbed over quicker. I think there's a lesson in that.

At least once a week, I read about some author taking a blow to the chops because they read their reviews. I feel for them. I really do. Bad reviews suck. Still, there are so many other things to worry about, like school starting in a little over a month, and the engine light that has been glowing in my car for the past six months. These are things I can change. I can't change anyone else, especially whether or not they liked something I wrote. The fact is no matter what I write, how well I write it, or what audience I gear the material toward, I cannot make everyone like me, and I'd rather not have to worry about it when they don't.

However, if I could have that watermelon vodka right now, I'd gladly take it. Preferrably over ice, and in a salted glass.  

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