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Darren Campo  
CONGRATULATIONS, THEY HATE YOU! Dealing with negative reviews.
Guestpert: Darren Campo
Category: Psychology and Self Help
 

Speaking Point: Shortly after my first book was published, reviews started popping up. Real reviews, not the first few glowing “reviews” from your friends, but from people who put up their hard earned money to buy my book. And it wasn’t long before the dreaded “one star” review appeared (note to authors: do not check for new Goodreads reviews before going to bed). I wasn’t so much bothered by the one-star as by what the person wrote. It was chilling and upsetting the lengths the person went to put me down and tear apart my book. After several years and four books, that review is still there, but I’ve come to realize that it’s something to be very grateful for. Here are my five lessons of a bad review:

Speaking Point: 1. BAD REVIEWS CAN LEAD TO GREAT OUTCOMES Nobody Kicks a Dead Dog - This was Dale Carnegie’s advice for dealing with criticism, and it should be your guiding star when considering what people write about your work. Carnegie pointed out: “When you are kicked and criticized, remember it is often done because it gives the kicker a feeling of importance. It often means that you accomplished something and are worthy of attention.” If you want proof, visit “Twilight” on Goodreads. It has over two million ratings, with an average of 3.57 out of 5.0, but the majority of the written reviews and comments are negative. It seems people love to write about how much they hate the book. This is how it is for many of the top selling books. Take a look at the Twilight-inspired “50 Shades of Grey” review

Speaking Point: 2. REPLACE “OPINION” WITH “TASTE” If you made a chocolate cake and people who don’t like chocolate ate it, what might they say? Everyone has different tastes and not everyone is going to like what you make. Imagine your bad review as a kid who spits out the cake and says, “Yuck!”

Speaking Point: 3. PLAY THE RECORDS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD For years I have been teaching a class on producing, and one of the most important things I teach the students is how to deal with failure. While there really is no such thing as failure, sometimes outcomes can make you feel really bad. So that’s what we call it. It’s temporary. And one student put it this way: “When I feel like I’ve failed at something, I feel like I can’t ever even try again. So I think about the times when I was successful. And I play that in my head until I feel better.”

Speaking Point: 4. TRY AND SEE IT THEIR WAY This is a tough idea to get sometimes, but how awful would it be if what the bad review said was 100% true? So you wrote the worst crap ever. Is that so bad? And not only that, sometimes an authentically negative review can be helpful. If you can see some truth in it, it will make you a better writer. Many times I read some negative comment and have to agree. If I could go back and write it over, I might have done it differently. There’s nothing wrong with being wrong.

Speaking Point: 5. YOUR WORK IS FOREVER, OPINIONS WILL CHANGE Consider this review: “... it is impossible to imagine how any man's fancy could have conceived such a mass of stupid filth, unless he were possessed of the soul of a sentimental donkey that had died of disappointed love." If you had to guess, you might say it was one of those previously referenced reviews of “50 Shades of Grey.” It’s not. It was written in 1855 in a review of “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman. So instead of dwelling on a bad review, remember that you have ventured bravely, done what most cannot and shared your creation with the world. It would be a real shame if you hid yourself away because of someone with different taste.

Visit these sites to find even more interesting material related to this topic.

Related Media: Darren Campo Website

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