On Writing – R is for Reviews

I’m sure there are writers somewhere out there in Writerland who don’t give a rat’s back tooth about what readers and reviewers think about their work. I can even half convince myself sometimes that I don’t care. But the truth is I’m an egotistical narcissistic selfish bastard who longs to be loved and adored by the reading public. Well, not quite perhaps but I guess despite my best efforts, I do care about how people are responding to my writing, and the reasons why they like or don’t like it.

The annoying thing is that it doesn’t seem to matter how many rave reviews, positive comments and kind compliments my work accumulates, and thankfully Painting by Numbers has been received extremely positively, my brain seems determined to fixate on  negative reviews, or teeny weeny minor comment or off the cuff criticisms. I can drive my wife insane  as I obsessively dissect and over-analyse the words, and then rant like a Glaswegian drunk on a Saturday night. But at the end of the day, the work is out there making its own way in the world, and we have to cut the apron strings and let the wee wain fly without a parachute. There comes a point where you have to accept that you can’t please all the people all the time and readers will make of it as they will, despite your rants and protests.

So now, when I find myself tumbling into the dark pit of despair and self-loathing following a poor review, I pour myself a large glass of beer, toast the reviewer and get on with the rest of my writing life.


FINALIST – THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE - PAINTING BY NUMBERS – Tom Gillespie’s critically acclaimed, surreal thriller is available in digital and printed formats from    Amazon UK/Amazon US and all good online stores.

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5 Responses to On Writing – R is for Reviews

  1. Helen Howell says:

    Well no body likes to hear bad things about their baby, but you just have to take a deep breath and let it all roll by. Now pour me another drink! ^__^

  2. Tom Gillespie says:

    Thanks Helen… single or double.. or shall I leave the bottle with you?

  3. Larry Kollar says:

    I love this: “the truth is I’m a egotistical narcissistic selfish bastard who longs to be loved and adored by the reading public.” Sounds like me!

    Pour me a good tall one, that scathing 1* review hasn’t gone away yet! ;-)

  4. John Wiswell says:

    It’s something any professional writer has to learn to take. There is no such thing as a book everyone will love, and every writer I know has some popular books they can’t wait to whine about. In the digital era, someone who dislikes your work is destined to find it.

    John at The Bathroom Monologues

  5. Hello, Tom! You have a great attitude about it. Send out positive energy to those negative reviewers and then get back to writing!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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