Dear Mad Writer,
This week I’ve talked about how working with beta readers, submitting to agents, and getting reviews can cause writers to be lazy or scared. Well, this can also breed anger. We’ve all heard about authors getting into fights with reviewers and publicly displaying it for others to see. Every time this has happened, the author has received a lot of backlash. Don’t make their mistake.
Anger #1 – Mean Critiques
Receiving a rude critique can bring shock, hurt feelings, tears and anger. When you reach anger, remember to bite your tongue. No matter how much you want to snap back, DON’T! You’ll only paint yourself as a childish, thin-skinned yuppie. Or worse.
I remember when a beta reader called one of my heroines a “psychotic narcissistic bitch.” And she didn’t stop there. She also called her rude, self-absorbed, and a menace. I was stunned speechless. When I did reply back I said, “Ouch. No one’s said that about her before.” And that’s all I said about that.
Even if what a beta reader says stings, don’t get defensive. Thank him/her for their suggestions even if you don’t mean it, and scratch their name off your future beta readers list. You won’t ever have to use him/her again.
Anger #2 – Rejection
If you shouldn’t send a nasty reply to beta readers or critique partners then you definitely don’t do it to agents. No matter how much you hoped a particular agent would want your book, don’t reply back to say they made a mistake and would regret it. As a matter of fact, they’ll probably be glad they didn’t offer you a contract after that display. Who would want to work with an unprofessional writer?
Don’t even reply back to say, “Thanks anyway” or “Thanks for your time.” You should’ve said that at the end of your query letter. Agents are busy. Unless you’re a signed client, don’t email them after a rejection. Just let it go.
Anger #3 – Bad Reviews
Many of us have received, or at least seen, awful reviews that probably made us want to address each cruel comment. Now more than ever is the time to stay silent, because if you attack a reviewer their army will come out in force against you. They’ll paint you as a distasteful author not worthy of readers, and you will lose readers. I’ve seen it happen.
If you ignore the bad reviews, your loyal readers will come out in force instead and back up your writing/story. Anything they have to say will carry more weight than if you tried to defend yourself.
RELEASE YOUR ANGER!
QUESTION: As a writer, what makes you angry? How do you handle it?
Author of Hurricane Crimes, 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.