If at any moment over the weekend, you heard a loud whoosh of wind, it actually might have been me exhaling. Yes, I exhaled so forcefully upon reading my first big review from Publishers Weekly that you might have heard it 'round the nation.
It's funny: I know, as a writer, that books and writer are subjective and that certainly, not everyone will like what I put out there. I read plenty of books that I don't necessarily adore but understand that somewhere out there, someone else does. I get that I'll get the occasional (hopefully just occasional!) bad review from someone, and that's okay. You have to have an awfully thick skin to make it in this industry, and mine is certainly thick.
I was totally internally freaking out all of last week about my first review, which I knew was coming from PW. Because the first review is the toughest. Because you worry that maybe you're walking around in this complete cloud of self-delusion, thinking, "I wrote a kick-ass book," which, by the way, every writer thinks, when, in fact, you wrote a crap book. And that first review might just shoot you off of that cloud. So, yeah, I was a little bit (or a lot of bit) of a stress ball.
So when it popped up late Friday, I was soooooo relieved that I could enjoy my weekend! Because they liked it! They really really liked it! They called the book "an engaging, fast-moving, high-concept drama," and said that "Scotch keeps one dexterous step ahead of page-flipping readers eager to guess the outcome." Whoohoo!
Now. I know that reviews are just that: a review from one single person's viewpoint, and if I'm going to enjoy the good ones, I damn well better read the bad ones too. And I will. With Kirkus just around the corner, that time might be sooner rather than later. LOL. But still. For this past weekend, I could exhale and know that I wasn't self-delusional. At least not completely. :)
Other writers - how do you cope with reviews? Do you read 'em? Do you take them to heart?