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Why I Almost Quit Writing

by on September 8, 2012

And here we are again. I was remiss in not introducing myself the first time I posted. My name is W. Lynn Chantale. Please call me Lynn. I’ve written professionally now for a little over a year. There were a couple of forays into vanity presses, but that’s another post. Since this month’s theme is Back to Romance or First Times, I thought about first times.

Yes this Queen of Sensuality (that’s a first too, never had a title like that, :-)) has had many firsts, but the one for today is reviews.

Oh yeah that one little word can send a writer to heights of pleasure of the depths of despair. No one really warned me that readers or reviewers could or would crucify my work. So the first review for my first novel…ever. Yeah, two firsts there, was not good.

I know. Shocking, right. Who wouldn’t love Seducing His Wife? It has a great cover. It’s about a married couple struggling to regain their love for one another while facing some other obstacles. Lots of conflict and drama with a few sexy moments thrown in and a whole lot of love.

When I read the Amazon review, I’ll be honest I wanted to give up, quit and never write another word again. That’s how badly those words cut and I’m sure I’m not the only author who has felt this way. Some points I will concede, my heroes aren’t the typical alpha, beta or whatever other letter male one can find in the How-to write romance book. And that’s fine, because if you take a look around at the men strutting the earth, you’ll find they can’t be put in a mold either.

So if listening, planning romantic events or being patient makes a man weak, well then don’t read anything I write. You’ll be sadly disappointed that the hero doesn’t grab the heroine by the hair and drag her off to the bedroom. (That’s another genre entirely)

It’s still a little difficult to read that first review, I still carry the impact of ever being good enough. Doesn’t matter how many more books I’ve put out or that there have been other reviews, good reviews. The first mean one lingers, like an ache in the joints before it rains.

Do I still read reviews? I try really hard not to, even if they’re good. I’d rather be blissfully unaware of what a reader or reviewer has said then experience a blow to my ego. If you didn’t know writers are fragile creatures, a little skittish and sometimes easily hurt. Maybe I was naive to think that while everyone might not like what I write, that they would find something nice to say, but I guess that’s just me.

Thanks for joining me today and don’t forget to leave a on comment for a chance to win a prize or two from this author.

Wanna see what I’m giving away? Check it out here.

Until next time Indulge Your Inner Romantic

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24 Comments
  1. Shyla Colt permalink

    Wonderful post ! I felt the same way about my first reviews. I still read reviews, but I’ve learned to take them with a grain of salt.

    • Thanks. Maybe one day I’ll get to that point, but not there yet. 🙂

      • You are a better person than I. I did cry when I read a bad review I mean I boo-hooed like a baby. Called my momma and everything.

  2. I agree with Shyla that this is a wonderful post. My first review on an erotic short story was not great and I was upset for a while. But I now read reviews infrequently and when I do read them, I refuse to let them impact my writing.

    • Thank you, Eden. I’m so glad you stopped by. How do you distance yourself from the reviews when you read them?

  3. Alyssandra Foster permalink

    Glad to know I’m not the only one with anxiety about being good enough. I think that is the reason why i keep getting writers block. :/

    • Oh no, not at all Alysandra. One thing that helps is being surrounded by good friends who can give you a little extra boost of confidence. Some days I’d be lost without my circle of friends.

  4. Kudos to you for continuing to do what you love despite naysayers. The title of your blog caught my eye and I thought, why would anyone want to quit writing. I can honestly see how reviews can sway you one way or another. As authors, we must never forget that everyone is entitled to opinion. Sometimes people are rude about it, but that’s another topic. When I think about one of my first reviews for my 1st published book, I feel honored to have compelled them to take time out of their day to write such a negative review. So I feel you on this one.

    • It was hard Ambrielle, it really was. That’s an interesting way of looking at the review, that she did take time to voice her opinion.

  5. laurie g permalink

    great post. and i am glad you didn’t cave to the bad reviews and keep on writing!

    • Thanks Laurie. No, I’ve toughened up a bit since then and the voices in my head will not be silent. 🙂

  6. This is an awesome post. When I read my first review on Amazon three years ago, my bottom lip trembled. I felt like I had no business writing anything and was wondering why the hell I even started. But, that’s okay because I’ve developed a thick skin since then. I do read reviews and I take them with a grain of salt because I refuse to give up writing over something like a review. You have an audience who loves your work, so you write for them and ignore the naysayers! Hugs and thanks for this post.

  7. Awww. Thanks Charisma. You’re welcome and I will keep writing. 🙂

  8. I am always worried about that myself. So glad to hear someone else voice it. Glad you stuck with it.

    Nikki

    • It’s one of those things that come with the territory, Nikki. I don’t mind constructive criticism, that’s how I’ve gotten this far, but there’s no need for meanness.

  9. I do believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and should be allowed to express it. BUT I still don’t know why some just seem to harshly criticize the authors and sometimes seem like they are attacking the authors. I thought reviews were for expressing thoughts and opinions about whatever was written. And to do it with insight and suggestions on how to write it “better “. Nowadays it seems like anything goes and people just say whatever without thinking. Glad you decided not to give up your craft.

    • You are so right, girlromwva. Sometimes I think it’s the anonymity the Internet creates. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. This post speaks to me. I want to be a writer so badly, but I’m terrified that people won’t like what I write, so it has basically crippled me. :/ This post makes me realize I should write for myself, and forget the haters.

    • Definitely Rebecca. Believe in yourself is the first step. That’s usually the hardest step too. Once you’ve got that down, it’s smooth sailing.

  11. Stephanie Pittman permalink

    Hi I am glad u continued to write no matter wht because there are people out here tht love your work.

  12. I’m glad you didn’t give up, Lynn. I read every review that someone takes the time to write, be it positive or negative. We need to know what readers like or don’t like in our work. That being said, some of those reviewers can be just plain mean. I chalk those ones up to jealousy and move on. LOL They used to bother me, but not anymore.

  13. This was a great post! Thank you so much for sharing. I just bit the bullet and released my fist book last month and crawled into a ball for a few hours when a reader ripped it apart. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that it’s possible to move past a bad review. Sadly I keep torturing myself and reading reviews and emails, but I’m learning to take them with a grain of salt.

    • I admire you and others who read reviews. One day I’ll be tough enough to take them with a grain of salt and a shot of whiskey. 🙂

  14. I don’t care how many bad reviews you get, you earned that title, Queen of Sensuality. 🙂 You are fantastic. I’d be devastated if you quit writing.

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