Writing a book is a labour of love. Everyone has at least one book in them they say, but most people don't write it. I found that the hardest word to write was the first one. Having decided to do it and never having written like this before a blank computer screen is most intimidating. You say to yourself, “oh dear, I am struggling with the first word and I could be writing 200000
Having poured your heart out week after week, suffering loss of confidence, writer’s block, looking at yesterday’s work and deleting it all, and gazing out of the window at a beautiful sunny day and asking yourself is it worth it, you finally reach the denoument, you believe it has all come together the way you want. Then it is time for the first “review”, the editor, who will read your book, take it apart and help you to put it back together again. A good editor is worth his or her weight in gold, but they are going to have to tell you things you don't like. Having flogged your way through the emotional highs and lows of writing it and edited your creation yourself, it can be a daunting process, but in the end you are reassured that despite your realisation that this book is not actually going to be spoken of in the same breath as a Tolstoy masterpiece, there is at least another human being who thinks you have something to say and others would be interested to know it. The next come down is the copy editor who shows you that your grammer and usage of words is not all it is cracked up to be since you have spent far too much of your time writing emails and sending sms, and have suffered in the process, but ultimately they like it too, and now you have the approval of two “experts”!
You show your finished product to friends and family who all coo and smile and hug you, making sure that they find at least one mild criticism to show that they did cast a critical eye over it and then you are on your way, out into the big wide forbidding world, and reviews from strangers. I have only published one book so far, and have fortunately been spared any review that say “Oh why did I waste my time with this”. I tell myself and anyone who will listen, that I want honest reviews. After all how can I hone my skills if I don't receive any constructive criticism? But secretly of course I want my creation classified as a must read, an education and a stimulation. I have been lucky but there is always that nagging feeling that the next review might be a disaster.
Does it matter? Not really. Writing a book is a labour of love, and if you have something to say you must say it. If others don't like it well you know that we all have different tastes, and it is just a disagreement, so you should never be intimidated by reviews, and don't let them ever put you off. You had something to say and you said it and great for you, and even though you may be as far away from Shakespeare or Dickens as is possible, you have still made your creative niche in the world and stuff the reviewers!! But honestly, inside, I would just love to see just one more good review and love those who write them.