Book reviews are hard to read. When they are negative, I take things very personally and try to keep my ego in check by not quickly pointing the reviewer’s credentials (or lack thereof). The worst part is…they aren’t even MY books that I feel the need to defend.
It is not because I am too delicate to handle criticism or too close-minded to accept a different point of view. I just don’t get why anyone would find the flaws (or rage on about why they thought something was so terrible) without at the very least offering advice on to make it better. After reading a book on creativity and channeling it, I was beyond surprised to see so many gloomy and doomy negative reviews on the book.
The criticisms overwhelmingly noted that the advice was “nothing new. Nothing here I didn’t already know”. I had to wonder then, if all of these people already knew all the advice why they hadn’t shared it themselves… The harsher accounts included basically calling the writer a charlatan who wrote the book to make money off it. Hmmm. I couldn’t get behind that either. Were they saying that a writer who held beliefs, ideas and experiences and wrote them down to share with other people that may not have exposure to quite the same things in hopes that others may improve while fulfilling a contract with their publisher was a bad thing? Color me confused.
Maybe I have been blessed with an incredible amount of support my whole life from actualized people, but usually when I find myself ensnared, the people I turn to don’t usually point and laugh that I am doing it all wrong. They take a moment to point out how I could improve my situation. I suppose I could analyze all the variables with the reviewers such as birth order, astrological signage, and current book deals of their own being offered (ZING!) to figure out why some people send negativity out under the guise of “just being honest, here”.
I hope that by the time I write my own book and it’s up for reviews on Goodreads or Amazon that I will have become disciplined enough to find the good in even the negative reviews. Until then, I will keep reading, keep writing and above all stay open to it all – even the noise.