I’m late to the game with this post from satirist Andy Borowitz, “Hillary Considers Dropping 2016 Bid After Reading One-Star Reviews on Amazon, but it made me laugh aloud. “Secretary Clinton said that she was “shattered” to discover that dozens of people had apparently purchased her book on its first day of publication, read all six hundred and fifty-six pages in one sitting, and judged the finished product so unsatisfactory that it only merited one star on Amazon.”
Clinton, of all people, must be thick-skinned by now (she’s been a cherished target for decades) but authors of all sorts, successful, struggling, aspiring, award-winning, do take those one star reviews to heart–even when it’s pretty clear that the review has little bearing on the work at hand. Or is part of a “vast right wing conspiracy.” But, as we all know, an unjust attack is not as bad as a trenchant criticism that fillets a work on reasonable grounds. Those are worse, and writing demands a baseline conviction that what you’ve produced is worth sharing. Bad reviews and rejections can shake that conviction, but writers know (or must remind themselves) they need to soldier on.
So, what’s your best advice on dealing with a bad review? Would a lascerating review prompt you to give up your run for the nation’s highest office (or similar dream?)