Why I No Longer Read My Book Reviews
“Reviews cause writers angst. We need them, we fear them, and, in my opinion, too often, we take the time to read them.
I LIKED MY LIFE came out with two starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, and kind words from Kirkus, but Publisher’s Weekly was decidedly unimpressed. That same pattern followed me on Goodreads and Amazon. Over a four star average, but occasionally accused of being illiterate. At first, I read new reviews that popped up daily. While I got a small high from strangers who loved the book, the mean ones took a piece of my confidence with them. That’s when I realized that reading reviews went against one of my life rules.
Prior to getting published, while I can’t say I didn’t care what anyone thought about me, the list of people whose disapproval could keep me up at night was small and intentional. To get on it, you needed to meet one criteria, but it was a doozy: I needed to have enormous, unwavering respect for you. It had always been a superpower of mine to ignore the noise, and the day I stopped reading reviews I took it back.
Allowing somebody to get in your head is to give them tremendous power; I am vigilant with whom I hand a ticket. Not allowing negative reviews to bring me down is only the beginning.”