by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Being a writer is an ongoing exercise in humility.
Critique partners critique your work. That’s their job.
Agents and publishers randomly reject it. It’s mathematically impossible they accept all the books they receive, yet their rejection still hurts.
Even after your manuscript has been published and magically become a book, you will still sometimes get negative reviews.
The best way of dealing with negative reviews is, of course, not reading them.
Unfortunately that is an advice I seem incapable of following. I do read them and, sometimes, they bother me, even those that let me wondering if the reviewer really read my book.
But last Sunday I had an epiphany of sorts and I have finally found a way to stop the negative reviews from putting me down.
It happened as I was eating a rum and raisins, and tiramisu ice cream while discussing with two friends our favorite movies and directors. Although the three of us tend to like the same movies, I discovered some movies/directors I loved/hated while they hated/loved them. And, in most cases, we were pretty passionate about our particular tastes.
It was, then, the idea came to me that movies/books are like ice cream flavors. One person likes vanilla while other like strawberry and both of them may hate pistachio. That doesn’t mean pistachio is not a great flavor. For someone else.
And if my book flavor is pistachio and you do not like it, I can’t change your mind about it. It’s the way it is. But the fact that you don’t like it won’t bother me anymore because your taste is yours, and does not reflect on the quality of my book.
And many others will like the pistachio flavor of my book. As I do.