Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I knew it was coming...

Wow, let me just preface this by saying that I'm not looking for compliments here. I'm just posting from a very raw moment in that I just received my first very public, very scathing review.

I knew it was coming.

No author can escape it.

Did I fall apart? Nope.

Did I quit writing? You're reading this aren't ya? ;-)

Did it sting? Very much.

At first.

BUT...I knew going into this that I wouldn't please every single person in the world. LOL!

Sure, a terrible feeling of dread came over me as I read the review. But then I felt God ask me some things:

"Did you write that book as worship?"
--"Yes, Lord."

"Do you think that pleased me?
--"Yes, Lord."

"Then why the sad face?"
--"Well, because I didn't want to let my editors down or embarrass them or my family by bad reviews."

"Did your editors publish the book in the first place?"
--"Yes, Lord."

"Don't you think that means they believe in you and in that book?"
--"Yes, Lord."

"Didn't I hear you telling another writer this week that 'you'll never be able to please every reader...so don't even try? And just be faithful to your core readership.'"
--Laughing now. "Yes, Lord. Yes. I get it."

"Do you know I'm your biggest fan?"
Gulp. One tear. Then another. Then another.
--"Please bless that person who gave me the bad review, and I mean this in Jesus' name."

And I REALLY did mean that prayer. The fact that my desire to WANT to pray blessings over that person eventually (I SAID EVENTUALLY!!! LOL!) won out over my urge to pray for their computer to explode is the true miracle. That God has my heart. As ugly and as nasty as I can be sometimes (Yes! Me, really!)...yet He's still faithful. Still loves me. Love always wins out. Always.

Guess that's why I'm so driven to write romance.

I KNOW the author of love. I KNOW Love, Himself.

I KNOW HIM! AND His lovingkindness!

To God:
I KNOW You. God Almighty who made me and gave me this gift and knew this review was coming before I did. Thank You for encouraging me. Thank You for giving me the grace to handle both praise for the talent You've given me, and thank you for giving me the grace to handle the criticism of my work. Help me always be humble...on both ends of that.

I have nothing to boast about, Lord except that I know You.

If I know my writing means something to You, then that's what really matters.

Yes, as my husband says, "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. A review is just the opinion of one person."

But...oh how much better it feels when that one person LOVES my stuff. LOL!

Thank You also, Lord for the gift of humor and for helping me be able to laugh at myself and at stings life hurls at me.

Cheryl...who is glad she got that (first bad review) out of the way. SHEW!

PS:

By the way...it wasn't a reviewer. It was a reader who heard great buzz about the book but was sorely disappointed. The person did say they are gonna try my second book. EEEK. I almost wish they wouldn't. LOL! And I do kinda feel bad they spent money on the book only to feel it wasted. That's no fun.

Anyway, I do feel a sense of relief. I wonder if the next negative review will be easier to take? LOL!

Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD. Jer 9:23-24

6 comments:

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Cheryl,

I can't imagine anyone giving your book a bad review. It was a wonderful book and I love your blog in overcoming it. No, you can't please everyone, so just concentrate on the ones who do like your style. And you're right, I believe God is your greatest fan. Who could ask for anything better than that?

Cheryl Wyatt said...

So true, Jen! Thank you!

Cheryl

Nike Chillemi said...

Ya know...The reader may have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

One thing Cheryl, and I think when God blesses me with a contract, I'll face the same issue - you have a unique and strong voice. I don't think there's anyone out there who's writing anywhere near your voice. So, you're not going to please everyone. Take a deep breath. LOL

Also, not everyone likes military novels. I know your title makes it plain that's what it is, but hey, people (myself included) buy and read books all the time half knowing the subject is really not for them.

I liked you blog about it too!!! Whatever you do...keep on writing! Please!!!

Ofer said...

You can try Ghotit (www.Ghotit.com) Ghotit’s first service is an online context sensitive spell checker.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thanks for that great link, ofer! I take it you read my flipper, flapper flop? LOL!

Cheryl

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Nike,

Thank you for the encouragement. You posting that reminded me of how, when I was running the contest circuit with a half-dozen of my unpublished manuscripts that, later in the game after I'd advanced my craft to close to publishable, that I would either get REALLY high scores...or REALLY low ones. Extremes either way. And at the time someone mentioned to me that it probably meant I have a very strong writing voice which causes extreme reactions either way. I hope that's that case. LOL!

I've always been perplexed at how one builds their voice. I guess it's just by writing and writing and writing.

Hugs!

Cheryl