Some people like hot and spicy food, other people hate it. Some people like sour food and other people prefer sweet food. Our preference for different foods depends on our taste buds. Tastes buds are individual and unique. It’s very uncommon to find someone that loves every last thing you love and dislikes every last thing that you dislike.
Reading is a lot like food. Some people will consume certain books and enjoy every last drop of flavor (erm, emotion) infused into the pages. Other people will read the same book and find it absolutely horrible. Maybe they don’t connect with the characters, the story line, or the chemistry. Maybe it’s just not their flavor.
Not every last person in the world is going to love the same book. I’m sure that there are people out there that aren’t a fan of the Harry Potter series, and J.K. Rowling doesn’t lose any sleep over it. But I often see authors truly affected by this notion; by the fact that their book isn’t being well received. I often see authors ranting about bad reviews, or calling the readers who didn’t enjoy their books stupid.
That reaction of anger towards a bad review comes from a place of disappointment and hurt. It’s difficult to not take a bad review seriously. It’s perfectly common to feel a little sting of hurt over a readers hurtful comments towards your work. But with that being said…if a reader doesn’t like your book, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed as a writer. It just means that one particular person didn’t like what you cooked up, and that’s fine.
I am a sensitive person, I think I’ve mentioned this a time or two before. I don’t take rejection easily and I never have. But my skin has grown thicker since I published my first book. It’s had to. In this business, you can’t take things personally. Sometimes, bad reviews are meant to be a personal attack, and even then you have to let that shit roll down the hill and keep writing. Write for those that enjoy your work, and write for you…for your love of writing. Write for the reason why you started writing in the first place.
I write because I love words. I breathe them, I thrive off of them. I want to evoke something in others – passion, anger, a change. I am aware that not everyone will understand my words. I’m aware that not everyone will like my stories, but that won’t prevent me from telling them.