by Beth K. Vogt
I had a rough day a couple of weeks ago. My daughter fell and badly sprained her ankle. My 96-year-old mother-in-law fell in her kitchen, which I’ve determined is her personal Bermuda Triangle. After 4 firefighters came and helped her back up, I went and checked on her
Two falls before noon. Yes, gravity behaved badly that day.
While I managed to stay upright, my emotions were off-kilter, thanks to anxiety and juggling regular life with these unexpected emergencies. By midnight, I was worn out and yet wide-awake, adrenalin still coursing through my veins. So what did I do?
Because I was overtired and lonely – my husband was away for a week of fishing – I broke my own often-stated rule: Don’t read book reviews.I went to GoodReads and skimmed reviews for my upcoming release, Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
Did I read any of the positive ones? No – and there were plenty. Instead, I zeroed in on the one that didn’t like how my destination wedding novel focused on my heroine’s wedding. (O-kay.) And the one that thought my characters made too many poor choices. (Next time, perfect characters. Check.)
REALITY: A review is someone’s opinion of my book. Of my writing. It’s their viewpoint – it’s not final judgment on me as a person. Some people will like my books. Some people won’t. And for some reason, we writers tend to remember the reviewers who don’t like our books.
It’s all well and good to say Don’t read reviews, but what should we do instead? Here’s what author Francis Chan suggests:
“‘What does this person think? What does that person think?’ Forget about it, look at [the Bible.] What does God say?”
Granted, Francis Chan wasn’t talking about book reviews per se. And of course, God says nothing about my book – any author’s book – in the Bible. But He does say so, so much about you and me. Who we are. How much He loves us. How He will never leave us or forsake us. How we are chosen. Precious. Made in His image.
So what’s my rule for handling book reviews? If you’re like me and break the “Don’t read reviews” boundary: Forget about what a book reviewer says about you; remember what God says about you.
Why anchor your mood, your self-worth, your estimation of yourself as a writer, to some (usually) unknown reviewer’s take on your book? A reviewer did nothing more than read your book and write an opinion about it. God created you. He knows you, inside and out.
Forget what they say. What does God say about you?
Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2015 RITA ® Finalist and a 2015 and 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth launched her 2015 destination wedding series with an e-novella, Can’t Buy Me Love (May) and a novel,Crazy Little Thing Called Love (June). Visit Beth at her bethvogt.com.