When it comes to getting things done, the hardest part is getting started.
Many times, we are stifled by fear. The biggest fear we have is other people’s opinions. Are we good enough? Imposter syndrome. When I first considered writing, I was crippled by, “What if they don’t like it.” I decided to push through it, and write anyway.
As I moved closer to pressing that ‘publish’ button, I felt warm and nervous. I was nervous because I knew that once I published my book, I’d need to market it to people. People will then buy it and read it. What if they thought it was trash? My family and friends. I had a ton of ‘what ifs’ floating around in my head.
I let a few of my friends read it beforehand. I let them critique the book cover. I let them encourage me to move forward. So, I published it. I marketed it. The book began to sell pretty quickly. I was super excited. Reviews started flowing in. Even today, two years later, it’s my top selling book.
Then…it happened. My first negative review. I thought I couldn’t breathe. My stomach was in knots. I read the review multiple times. My head was spinning. After finally coming to my senses, I went to one of my writer groups and asked, “How do you deal with negative reviews?”
Their answers helped me grow so much. They asked, “Is the review relevant?”, “Is there some growth opportunity in the review?”, and “How many other reviews do you have?”. I pondered these questions and came to a few conclusions.
Growth from the first cut:
- Grow from the negative experience: There were a few changes I needed to make as an author to improve my novel. I went back and corrected some things to make it better.
- Change your mindset: look at the positive instead of focusing on the one negative. Appreciate the things you did the right way. Celebrate your accomplishments.
- Never give up: despite any setbacks, keep pushing forward. Never quit because you encounter an obstacle. Learning how to overcome obstacles make you stronger and smarter.
- Build a solid network: seek out others that you can learn from. Use their expertise to help you grow. And, always, make sure to give back.
The first cut is the deepest, but is so necessary. I wish you luck in your journey!
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