As a debut author, I think of my first novel as my child. How dare you judge? Yet, this narrow point of view inflates my work and diminishes the reviewer’s. We live for our reviews and by extension the reviewer. When I play the anthropomorphism game, I’m destroying the balance between object and observer. I can say this because I’m a rational creature. And. Bloody hell, I feel emotional hurt even as this rational explanation is true.
I made peace with the review by remembering these attributes.
Impersonal. As much as my work is living, it’s non-life and distinct from me. I may have spent hours crafting the work but at the end of the day it stands on its own. I may not like it; I accept it.
Temporal. I recognize that as much as we want immortality, it does not have to be for every aspect of the work. I created it and it exists. It will have reviews that represent each reviewer. That representation will be interpreted by the next person and so forth. My reaction is mine and does not necessarily create an outcome I fear – a person reading the review decides not buy/read the work. It might actually spark a discussion between those who like it and those who do not. That energy is awesome in that it can bring more readers into the debate. Passion is hard to generate.
Relational. Just as the work is in relation to its creator, the reviewer is in relation to the reviewed. I want a relationship with my readers and reviewers. Reviewers who attack in personal terms choose a relation(ship) I have decided is not meaningful to me. I accept what you say on face value and others will do the same. At the end of the day, how you feel about the work is only personal to you (true of the author as well) and is not a universal value. Reviewers and authors who accept that a relation exists between our roles then we can build a community that helps all readers find the work that is meaningful to them and increase both our values.
Until next time, may your PATH be true.
BTW –here is what another author, Shirley Mclain, said on this subject, which I found helpful.
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