Life Suc... wait, it doesn't have to be...

Sometimes getting something you thought you wanted is not always a good thing.

I just got my very first bad review, and it's from Publisher's Weekly. Ouch. That really hurts.

I so wanted to get reviewed by one of the biggies: PW, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, etc. I even griped about not getting noticed not so long ago right on this blog. Maybe they read my blog and decided to give me a scathing review in revenge.

OK, it's so great that they even noticed the book to review it -- thousands of unknown, small-press authors go unnoticed. So I should be glad that they even bothered to review TPB.

Then of course, I am bummed they didn't like it. I certainly didn't think it was the best thing since sliced bread and that it was going to win the Pulitzer, but still, I can't help but feel sad.

"melodramatic" -- nothing wrong with that, really... many stories are melodramatic
"movie-of-the-week dialogue" -- hmmm, I wish someone would make a movie-of-the-week version of this!
"purple" -- I guess all those purple prose contests pay off.

I wish I were at that stage in my writer's life that I didn't care about reviews, good or bad. But I'm not there yet, so every bad review, especially from the big guys like PW, stings and shakes up my confidence as a writer. But I really am trying to make light of all this, and try to be thankful that, Good pardon-my-fucking-language Lord, PW reviewed my book!

This just reminds me the first time I got a bad rejection letter, how it shattered my confidence as a new writer. But you know what? Bad review means one thing: the reviewer didn't like it. Well, I should know; I'm a movie critic.

I think my skin just grew an inch thicker. That has to be a good thing.

Everytime I get pulled down by a bad review, I'll have to remind myself of the piece of hate mail I got the first time I got published, when this person called me "the worst writer in the world -- you should forget about it and go back to finding a 9-5 job" or some such.

Screw them.

I know I need to get past this. So, now, I'm going to drown myself in a big tub of chocolate ice cream. Pass the Oreos, please.


Unique said…
Worst writer in the world? Ha.
Sorry, Ray - it's not you.

I'll tell you who *I* think is the worst published, most overrated author in the world ..... but you'll have to email me to find out.

More later....kiss, kiss....
September said…
Just chalk it up to another one of a writer's unwanted, but necessary, "firsts" (first query rejection,etc.)
Some of us just wish we could be in your shoes (first published novel)
It's not a bad review - they were nice. They didn't say they hated it. And, though I'm not in your shoes, I know what you mean about feeling a little sad about this kind of bittersweet moment.
*hugs* from a fan of your book
Ray Wong said…
Thanks! :) At least I have one, two, three... three fans.
Mridu said…
Guess who's going to be biting their tongue when you make it big? And guess who's going to have a GREAT story to tell. "So those suckers at PW... they thought it was melodramatic. Can you believe that?!"

Ray Wong said…
LOL. Nah, I need them to write me a good review next time: "Wong's novel is a masterpiece: Spielberg has acquired rights for $10 million."

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