Thursday, June 26, 2014


As mothers we hit many benchmarks: pregnancy, birth, first time you get peed on, pooped on, or thrown up on. First steps, first solid food, waving hi or good bye. First time your child says dada, mama, no, I love you, I hate you. Then there's the first day of preschool, of Kindergarten, first soccer game, dance recital, etc. 

I think you get the idea. There are a lot of firsts. 

There are benchmarks for authors too.

When you write the first word of your first manuscript. When you type 'The End'. Your first critique group meeting. Your first writer's conference. Your first query letter, rejection letter (You should know that I actually cheered and celebrated when I got mine. Yes, I'm a little quirky that way.), acceptance letter. Your first NaNoWriMo or writers' retreat. The moment when your labor of love, blood, and tears finally launches into the world of publishing. The moment you hold your book for the first time and feel its weight in your hands.Signing your name on your book. Your first glowing review. Your first not-so-glowing review. 

The last one happened to me just this month. 

And I didn't bat an eyelash. 

Would you like to know why? 

It's just another benchmark in the journey of being a published author. I knew getting into this business that not every one would like my books. That's okay. We all have different tastes, love different genres, and/or enjoy various writing styles. 

I recently followed a conversation between authors of all genres about this very topic: less than glowing reviews and found their responses to be very similar to mine. We'd all love to have nothing but glowing reviews, but on the flip side when that's all a potential reader sees in regards to our books they may dismiss it as a bunch of friends and family who reviewed it and not put much stock in what was said. But an honest opinion given by a reader who didn't gush about the book gives the potential reader a more rounded view of the work itself. (I'm not talking about mean girl type reviews, although sadly there are those out there.) So, honest glowing reviews are needed and appreciated, but an occasional grumpy one won't cause the end of the world. 

So, to the reader who didn't love my book, I express my gratitude for his/her honesty and hope they found another book they enjoyed and fit their taste better. Perhaps from one of the other authors on this blog, or an Indie author, or a best seller. Doesn't matter. Thanks for helping me achieve another benchmark on my journey. 

What benchmark should I be on the lookout for next? 

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