Putting out wild fires

I have had 6 reviews so far as an Author on Amazon.com. 4 of the 6 were high praise. But 2 of the 6 were from the same person making very negative statements on my work, just one in particular, My “Memoirs recalled Madness: a personal account of living with bipolar disorder.” (2013) by Emily Sturgill. This young lady wrote basically that even though she bought my paperback she deemed it unworthy of reading due to grammar errors.

At the time, I was highly offended. But it was also close to the time, when I was becoming hypo-manic in May. I made harsh statements due to being so taken off-guard and did not respond in a professional way. Now there is a second woman leaving negative statements as comments, based on my over-reaction in trying to defend my work.

So I choose to simply re-edit it and re-release it. Then I attempted to apologize to both women.

You, know you cannot please everyone all of the time. I feel lucky to have positive reviews at all. And I have also said even if you have nothing nice to say, that perhaps it would make me a better writer for that. I have never discouraged negative reviews-I think I try to be receptive to any feedback of all kinds.

I don’t know. I still feel shaken up about the whole thing. I still have trouble understanding how someone would pay so much for a paperback then refused to read it due to grammar errors. Like for me, if she had actually read it-which she claims she did not-and judged it poorly on the basis on how I said things or content-what I was writing about THEN wrote a bad review-well then ok BRING IT ON. But to admit you never finished reading it and then review that the whole thing must suck due to errors you found in the first ten pages? Huh? The book is 88 pages long. I know I am more touchy about it, for a few reasons. First it’s based on my real-life story events. As well and as personal as I could tell them. Second, that is not my typical type of writing or genre.I mostly wrote just poems and prose. There’s a reason for that. I do not have the attention span some other Authors do to develop a plot and to really stick with it. Develop characters not to mention a solid beginning, middle and end.

Still, in my defense, I have been told many times that I write well. The responses between the two other woman towards me were just plain ugly.I felt like I was being-cyber-bullied!!! At the same time, I feel they have a right to their opinion. My loving husband disagrees. He reported their comments as abuse to Amazon. He cited them or at least the first person to be making personal attacks. I’m not sure how that works. They did not use obscenities or anything like that they were just both so very mean. My mistake, was ever commenting on the review in the first place-it added fuel to the fire. Now I am trying to put out wild fires. I realize as an Author, or Artist or Poet-you are putting yourself out there. People may not like your work, in fact they may even hate it. But sometimes, it is hard to separate who you are as a person from the work that you do. In spite of all the really wonderful reviews, the bad and ugly reviews stick out like a sore thumb. And that is MY PROBLEM-not theirs. I need a thicker skin.

If any other self-published authors out there have advice on this? Please comment on my blog. I have no idea what I am doing wrong. Obviously, I did not run a spell-check and grammar-check before publishing my memoirs. That’s my bad judgement there. I do not really use the spell-check feature when writing poetry or prose, because it’s different. When writing poems you may not want a capital letter at the beginning of each and every line. It annoys me.If there is a obvious spelling error I do fix that.

Am i really getting my panties all twisted into a bunch over what 2 woman said on the internet?? Does that make me the worlds worst, writer, author, artist and poet? Anybody out there have objective advice on taking criticism and handling it well? I would love to hear from you? Please, Please, please…any of my readers feel free to comment on the post. I’m a bit lost. However, I am still working on a new book. I am not going to stop writing over this or anything-even if folks hate it. I’m going to suck it up and keep writing no matter what. Thanks, Emily

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4 thoughts on “Putting out wild fires

  1. Emily, I can feel your pain and distress as I read your post; I think that certainly qualifies as effective writing. I haven’t read your book, but I’ve read similar stories about commenting trolls who feel the need to personally attack authors in “reviews.” My advice (and I think you’ve already come to this conclusion on your own) is to do your best to ignore the personal attacks. We can all learn from constructive criticism, so embrace that but move right past the s**t dumps.

    I’ve found the WordPress community to be a very supportive group, so you might consider reaching out to fellow writers for critiques when you’re ready with your next book. And do run a spell check 🙂 No guarantees that it will pick up every mistake, but it’s a great place to start.

    And don’t stop writing! It’s like any other skill: the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

    • Thank you for your very honest yet, sweet reply. It was funny too, because when I got the email about more comments I also checked my Authors Reviews page on Amazon. The same day more hurtful comments appeared a new review of another one of my books also appeared and that one was very positive-and encouraging. I’m not going to stop writing but I may just stick to what I do best-the poetry and prose for now. Some day I would love to write short stories too. The WordPress community is the only reason I started self-publishing in the first place. When I started this blog last Nov 2012-it quickly got strangely popular. And mostly all I ever did was write poems.If it were not for my readers here-I would have never dreamed of publishing anything. Since Jan 2013- i have self-published 10 books. And that all because of my wonderful readers here, on sex and the kitchen sink! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

    • Dear change it up editing,
      I revised and ran both a spelling-than a grammar check. Then after I re-released it I got another very bad review. http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Recalled-Madness-ebook/dp/B00C145EOU/ref=la_B00B1GC5LY_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373459281&sr=1-12

      I do not know if I need to just pull this memoir out of circulation of what? It’s only two critics so far, but nobody has said anything positive about this memoir either. It’s really not in my comfort zone in the first place as far as writing goes. I wrote it to try to give some sort of hope to others with a SMI-serious mental illness. I did not anticipate all this negativity. It makes me feel as though I am a horrible writer-but all my life I have always been told I was good at writing.This is deeply confusing to me.I actually do not know anyone who could help me edit it.

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