Today was one of the most quintessential ‘I hate Mondays’ I’ve experienced in a long time. If I had written about a Monday like today, most editors would call my experiences cliché. My son inadvertently woke me an hour early…I couldn’t get back to sleep due to a bloody nose…I was late to the office…no parking spots were available and I had to park two lots over…I left my raincoat in my wife’s car which was at the shop…needless to say it was raining and I got drenched…oh, and I got the first negative feedback on my book.
It’s probably against the rules of marketing books and such, to share that someone in the world hates what you’ve written. But it’s out there, on Goodreads if you’re looking. I’ve been fortunate to the point of being spoiled with everyone’s kind remarks. I’ll admit to a bit of pride in telling my Mom and Dad, “Nobody hates Angst…yet.” I guess it’s ‘yet’ now.
The review isn’t rough enough to anger me into a frenzy of deep creative writing (that would have been cool), nor thought provoking enough to say, “that reader is right, I should’ve done that” or “I could do that better next time.” It was empty and indirect enough that it pinched the underside of my arm with a quiet, “I didn’t like.”
I was expecting worse, or better from a negative review. I don’t admonish the reviewer, that person’s opinion of Angst is every bit as legitimate as those who have enjoyed reading it. (Enter snarky comment of your choosing here if you disagree.) But it’s like I told my friend Cristi today, you don’t expect everyone to like what you’ve written, but you still want them to.
The great thing about my ‘writing career’ right now, is that I can write to share me and hope others get something out of it. Angst is very much my story, an old friend from High School (who DID love my novel by the way, heh) shared that reading it was like spending an evening talking to me. I felt a great desire to share my thoughts about life, and I still do. My hope is that others similarly frustrated with how things happen, or irritated with getting older, appreciate the ‘what if’ and ‘grass isn’t necessarily greener’ parts of Angst. I hope those who ‘get me’ enough to enjoy my sense of humor finish the book with a few laughs and well entertained and maybe even wanting for more.
What I walk away with from the negative feedback on Goodreads is a reminder that Angst isn’t for everyone, it’s for everyone else, including me.