For all writers: How to remain positive

You’re a writer?  You took the time to pour your heart and soul onto the paper and wanted to share your words with the world?  Congratulations on taking the first step and publishing your book.  What comes next?  Let me tell you….

After you publish your first book, you’re going to want to contact people to give you book reviews.  This is a time-consuming task to find people who review books in your genre and are willing to review your book.  It involves a lot of research and emailing.  This will take time away from writing your next book, but you have to be patient.  Marketing and promotion are necessary.  No one can read your book if they don’t know it exists.

Once you have people who agree to check out your book, you have to sit with bated breath and hope they actually like it.  What?  People might not actually adore the precious book that you took the time to so lovingly offer up to the world?  No, they might not.  Actually some of them won’t like it at all.  Most of them will offer constructive criticism and tell you why they didn’t like it.   Please take their advice.  Maybe you have a few editing issues to fix or some plot holes that don’t make sense.  Fix them!  The people who are offering you advice are reviewers that have reviewed countless other books.  They know what they’re talking about.  They took the time to read your book, so you should take the time to listen to their suggestions.

On occasion you’ll get a bad review with no explanation as to why the person didn’t like your book.  It’ll bother  you more than you’d like to admit.  But you really shouldn’t wallow in a cesspool of self pity.  That is not constructive and it will get you NOWHERE.  It will be taking time away from important things.  Like watching TV shows, giving belly rubs to your dog, and most importantly, WRITING YOUR NEXT BOOK.

So how to handle the criticism then?  Take a deep breath.  Take another one.  Remind yourself that this person who gave you the bad review is not the only person on Earth with an opinion.  There are several other people out there that probably really like your book.  You like your book, otherwise you wouldn’t have wasted all the time writing it.  Your dog likes your book.  Ok…dogs can’t read, but they give unconditional love.   So I’m sure that your dog would like your book because it came from YOU, the one who doles out belly rubs and cookies.

My suggestion is to take every single good review that you get, copy it, and paste it to a word document.  Every time that something gets you down, open the “happy document of positive reviews” and remind yourself that you’re not a total failure at life.  These are positive reviews.  From complete strangers.  Who took the time out of their busy lives to read YOUR book and actually enjoy it.

So next time you get a case of writer’s block, you’re feeling down about the writing process, or you get frustrated, just open your “happy document of positive reviews” and remember that you do have a talent after all.  Keep writing!

That’s what I’ll be doing!

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