Why You Gotta Be So Mean….Again.



I’ve been down this road already, but it seems like some writers are still being offended and hurt and feel the need to take it out on people who “don’t get” their art. I’m really sorry that not everyone liked your book. I know, I know, you thought those five star reviews meant your book was amazing and that it somehow gave you the right to treat anyone that doesn’t get it like they’re a moron.  Let’s make fun of their grammar, let’s point out that they should learn how to write a review.

What? Seriously? Yes. Even among well respected authors, I have seen this ugliness pop up. Look, I get it. You don’t understand or agree with their review. Maybe a line or two in there even hit a nerve and hurt your feelings. Get over it. Stop staring at the one or two bad reviews and move on. Not everyone is going to get your piece. And guess what? That doesn’t automatically label them ignorant or less than you. You don’t need to post the review on social media where your friends are going to come on and pat you on the back, hand you a baby bottle, and oh…maybe they’ll join in on the beat down of that “stunted intellectual” who didn’t get your masterpiece.  Fuck.  I’m so tired of all this negativity.

We’re writers, we’re artists. We create these pieces with everything we have and we’re lucky if someone sees that and agrees to put it out or display it. But you know what? Once you make your art public, the public is allowed to have their opinion. And they will. And it’s not all gonna be sunshine and IPAs. Someone is gonna miss the point, someone is gonna be rude, someone is gonna be a straight up troll. My advice to you is this: If you can’t handle the awful or not good reviews, you have two choices: 1) Only read the 3-5 star reviews. (I wouldn’t advise this, because sometimes you get a kernel of truth your friends won’t share with you)  2) Stop putting your books out to the public. That’s right. Just keep them to yourself or only give them to your friends.

I hate that this post came off negative, but sometimes people need to grow up and deal with adversity (even something as miniscule in the world as a bad review-fuck me, haven’t you seen that there is real shit going on nearly every goddam day? People are starving, getting blown up, living in shit and piss, Trump is aiming to be the emperor of the world and on the verge of attaining that despite his racism and ignorance????)


Let me relax a second here….

Look, it is not easy being told something we poured our hearts into misses the mark with someone who happens to come across it. Sure, in a perfect world we would love for our words to make every heart, mind, and soul sing. Our art would be in perfect harmony with each reader. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works and that’s never going to change. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you can learn to shrug it off and keep moving forward.

Bono once sang, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”  Don’t. Keep your chin up and walk on.   That means don’t go putting the poor sod up on your Twitter or Facebook as a dart board. Let it go. Be the better person. I know you can do it.


9 responses to “Why You Gotta Be So Mean….Again.”

  1. Reblogged this on Horror Reviews for You and commented:
    Fantastic post by Glenn Rolfe. Writers and reviewers need to read this.

  2. Great post. I know many writers worry that negative reviews will negatively impact their sales, but I’m not convinced this is true. For me, on Kindle, the free sample will have a far greater impact on my buying decision, especially when the writer’s work is unknown to me. And unless the book being reviewed is THE GRAPES OF WRATH or LORD OF THE FLIES, I’m skeptical of 5-star reviews, as well. But engaging a negative reviewer with retaliatory negativity is far more likely to negatively impact ALL of a writer’s work.

    1. Thanks, James. Yeah, five stars never sit well with me. Even for my own work. I hold classics and top shelf favorites like ‘Salem’s Lot up there. My editor is always bitch slapping me when I start to complain about receiving a five star review.
      Thanks again for reading the post.

  3. So on point as always. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  4. I’ll be sure to bear this in mind… IF I can ever get some recognition for my works. Of course, it might help if I get over some of my fears and strive for publication.
    Thanks for these wise words!
    — John

    1. You’re very welcome, John. Best of luck with your writing.

      1. I think the first hurdle is to get others to read, and then hope they share it and still more people would read them.

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