Things writers should NOT do

Hey, folks–

You may have heard this one before, but here it is again. This link has been making the rounds through the writing/reading community as an example of how authors should NOT respond to reviews.

Yeah. Um…I’m embarrassed for this author, who ends up coming across as, unfortunately, unprofessional and unable to deal with critique, whether constructive or not. The author then made it a lot worse and responded in the comments section (more than once), with more of the same behavior. Yikes! The author even told someone to “f*** off.” Holy career enders, Batman!

Give me more! Yes, more! Click on…

So let me offer up some tips to you, dear writers:
1) Work with a writing coach, writing group, and/or an editor.
2) Get yourself some books that deal with basic rules of grammar and punctuation.
3) Take some writing courses and workshops. You can never get enough of these.
4) Have writing coaches/writers’ group members/editors assess your work before you either send it to a publisher or self-publish.
5) Never, never respond to reviews.
6) Never, never, never, never respond to reviews.
7) Seriously. Don’t respond to reviews.
8 ) No, really. Review you didn’t like? Leave it be.
9) Review you didn’t agree with? You’d be better off facing a horde of zombies than the fallout you’re going to get for responding publicly like this author did. Save yourself. Don’t do it.
10) OH, no! A review you didn’t agree with? Good reason to have a pint and carry on, WITHOUT RESPONDING.

If you must take umbrage, do so in the privacy of your own home and with trusted friends. If the reviewer is correct in his or her assessment of your work, sulk for a while, have a beer, throw things around, curse. Then work to improve your writing, taking the comments as some guidance. If the reviewer has misinterpreted your work, or seemingly didn’t actually read it and came to some strange conclusions when compared to other reviews, sulk for a while, have a beer, throw things around, curse. Then move on. (been there, done that)

The key here? DON’T RESPOND TO REVIEWS. Have your tantrum on your own time, OFFline, and all by your lonesome. Then pick yourself up and carry on. Writing can suck. But when you publish something and you put it out there, you’re going to get both good and bad reviews. That’s the nature of the beast. If you can’t deal with the beast, get out of the arena.

When you get a bad review (and trust me, we all do), it’s okay. Add it to your awesome writing scars collection, have a nice drinkie, and keep on keepin’ on.

Your reputation will thank you for it. 😀

4 thoughts on “Things writers should NOT do

  1. Rock on!

    My new book, out in two weeks, is now getting reviews, most raves (yay!) and a few negative. The negative reviews, in both instances, have been serious misreadings of the book. One, from PW (!) managed to make the basic error of calling my second book my debut. Seriously?

    So, sometimes you’ve gotten a lousy or lazy reader. I’ll take my hits, but I’ll take them from readers who make the time to read carefully and offer me the respect my work deserves.

    Your points are excellent — especially to work really hard on your work so you feel confident about what you’re offering to readers and reviewers. I had five “first readers” on both my books, both non-fiction, and their comments were invaluable in helping me see the inevitable weaknesses and oversights in the work.

    The woman who freaked out in public is basically an amateurish moron. A cautionary tale, yes.

    • Hey, thanks for popping by and congrats on your own work! And seriously, you can’t please everybody all the time. I figured that out a while ago. HAR. In my case, some people just don’t “get” what I write, and oh, well. There’s plenty of stuff out there to read, so hopefully they’ll find something they DO like. 8)

  2. Pingback: Things writers should NOT do, part 2 « Andi Marquette

  3. Pingback: More things you shouldn’t do as an author « Andi Marquette

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