I don’t have gator skin. Yet.

But I'm working in it!

One thing any writer has to endure is harsh criticism.  No matter how awesome you think you are as a writer, or how awesome some of your readers might say you are, there will always be some who think you submitted the work of a fourth grader and put your name on it.  Go ahead and check out the reviews for any of J.K. Rowling's work or even The Hobbit or A Tale of Two Cities.  There are haters everywhere.

My first bad review was devastating.  The tenth, just slightly less so.  I'm to the point now where I avoid certain places that are known for having harsher reviews, letting my husband/business manager filter them for me.  Negativity makes it hard for me to do anything, especially write more drivel, so I have to avoid it wherever possible when I'm in the middle of crafting a novel.

People tell me I have to build up a thick skin and ignore the haters, and I am working on that.  I laugh as I write my current novel, Apocalypsis: Book 2, because there are gators as characters in the book.  I wish I had skin like them sometimes.

Luckily, my good reviews and supportive comments from readers far outweigh the bad ones, so I keep plodding away, writing books.  And I have a few callouses now, making the 1-star reviews easier to manage.  Maybe someday I'll be able to just accept them for what they are: the price you pay for putting your heart on display for the world.

22 comments on “I don’t have gator skin. Yet.

  1. Haters gonna hate. You can’t please everyone. Also, you rawk. I’ve loved everything you’ve written, so please keep writing. Gator skin is tough to come by. I still feel insulted by 3 stars. I might just cry when I get my first 1 or 2–I hope I never do, but know I prolly will.

    All we can do is tell the story that exists and hope more people like it than don’t.

    • Some would disagree, but I love hearing it from you. I know you are a very well read woman, so I’m going to take your word for it. lol 🙂 xoxo Elle

  2. Hi you are an excellent writer I enjoy all of your books and you care about all your fans there are always people out there who are unhappy people looking to be negetive about anything and just looking for something to complain about or they are just hard to please no matter what you do for them you have a lot of fans who enjoy what your writing and you are a very talented writer keep up the excellent work and thank you.

    • Thank you, Nina. You’re so sweet!! And I really do care about all my readers. I’m incredibly blessed and lucky to have them and I’ll never forget it. xoxo Elle

  3. I got a good one the other day. A one star that said “Now I know why I got this for free.”

    Ouch, haha.

    I’m guessing the place you don’t go is goodreads. I get shit on there constantly. People are quite mean there, but I figure that’s a part of the business.

      • Ever read the forums on IMDB? If you think we have it rough as authors, filmmakers get it REALLY bad. Didn’t you know that every movie is the worst movie someone has ever seen?

        You shouldn’t feel bad about bad reviews anyway, because your books have brought the awesomeness that is me into your life. And that is worth just about anything.

        I almost got through that without laughing.

  4. I almost got through the whole thing without gagging! Ahhhhh.

    Momma’s in da houssse! I tried to lure Elle away from her computer with a trail of reese’s pieces down the stairs but no go. She is steadfast about cranking out those 10,000 words every day. She only leaves to take me on a forced march up and down the hills and through the woods. (She’s trying to tire me out so I’ll leave her alone.)

    • Try using pictures of a mulleted (pretty sure that isn’t a word) Eric Roberts from Best of the Best. That should get her out of there.

      Smelle, how can you work when your dear mother is in town? For shame!

      Drink some good wine for me Doozie!

    • I’m so glad you said so! I got a one-star review today that said it was awful, so it’s always nice to have that counteracted by a nice response like yours. Thank you so much!! Review SEQUEL coming in December. xoxo Elle (duh, got reviews on the brain!)

  5. See? I knew you were working too hard. Didn’t you mean “sequel” coming in December?? Excuse me, I have to go drink a glass of wine for Jason. Is 1pm to early to start on wine in France? I don’t think so.

  6. I feel for ya. Telling an author to ignore the hurt is like telling a starving child to ignore the hunger.

    I think there are different levels of this. If you’ve sold a ton of books and gotten a bunch of great reviews like you have, I think you can get over it easier than someone who’s looking at their first bad review out of one total review, with the self-doubt creeping in. I don’t think there’s any reason for self-doubt from someone who has a good track record, so it becomes more of an annoyance. “What the hell’s the matter with these people?” Tha kind of thing. You have every right to say that, but you have no right to self-doubt at this point.

  7. I was thinking about your little dilemma here and I realized something pretty cool. I really admire what you’re doing. You’re writing in the YA genre, but treating the kids as ADULTS – the way they want to be treated. You aren’t writing around the parts that some adults like to pretend don’t exist, but you also aren’t glorifying them either. They’re just there, as a part of the characters and story, but not in an overwhelming or distracting way, as it should be.

    Writing YA the way you are should be admired, and judging by your recent success, many people agree with me. You’re a rockstar Smelle, to hell with the haters.

  8. I’m going to tell you something: There’s a very good reason why you have 89 five star reviews for your book “Wrecked” on amazon and only 6 one star reviews: you are amazing. I read some of the one star reviews saying how the book was predictable and all that other stuff and I honestly laughed out loud. The book was anything but predictable. Also, for the language and “inappropriate” topics: you never said the book was great for ten year olds. I’m fourteen and I understood both girls positions. All your books are amazing, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Until they write a self published novel that people will actually read I’m going to disregard their opinion :). Love you and your books!

    • Emily, if I could reach through this silly Internet and give you a hug, I would!! Thank you for that! It’s inspired me to write a blog post about clichés. 🙂 lol xoxo Elle

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