9. Dealing with Negative Reviews

A lot of YA writers think they shouldn’t care about bad reviews. Or they fantasize about being a person who has negative opinions roll off them.

This mentality is often taught to us when we're kids. With adults feeding us comments like, “don’t let that bother you,” or “just ignore them," when someone makes a judgement about us.

And it makes sense, right? It’s a very appealing thought process. That people could say bad things about you, or about your work, and you just don’t care in the least. Not for a second. Who wouldn’t want that? And what parent wouldn’t want that for their kid? It means they wouldn’t have to feel pain. It’s super appealing.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that when we do find ourselves caring that someone gave us a bad review, we’ve already lost.

We weren’t supposed to care, but we felt hurt by it. So now, not only do we have the bad review, we weren’t able to keep it from affecting us. Double fail.

So what’s the alternative?

It's being a badass writer. One who’s willing to feel embarrassed, rejected and hurt on the journey to their dreams.

You don’t have to be someone who doesn’t care if they get a bad review. You can get a bad review, have a beta reader dislike your book, and be upset about it. But you keep moving forward and going after your dreams and goals. That is badass. Those are the people we want to read about, and those are the people we look up to.

Pretending that you’re not going to have negative feelings in the journey towards your goal, doesn’t work. It’s a lie to yourself and it sets you up for more pain.

The journey to being a Blockbuster YA Author is not about getting rid of negative emotions. It’s about going after the things you want – the book on the shelf, the agent, the movie deal – and knowing that you will have negative emotions along the way.

Learn more in our podcast episode.

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