I have my fanfiction accounts set up so that I get emailed about my notifications. I get an email if/when someone follows or favorites me as an author. I get an email if/when someone follows or favorites a story I posted. And I get an email every time someone takes the time to review one of my stories. Only one of those types of emails makes me nervous.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love all of my fanfiction related mail. It’s awesome to see my stats grow! But boy oh boy…seeing the word “review” in my email makes my stomach churn. It’s nerve wracking.
I am all for constructive criticism. Honestly, that’s a major reason I post fanfic. Not only do I love writing for my favorite worlds but I can have rabid fans read my work and then tell me how they liked my writing. It’s a win win. But the word “review” still strikes fear in my heart. So many questions rush through my mind even before I actually get to reading what the reviewer left for me. Is it a good review? A bad one? Is it feedback from a diehard fan telling me I did something wrong, wrong, wrong?
Now I’ve never gotten a review that was really bad. Heck, most of the reviews are nothing more than “Love it! Please update!” which are awesome but aren’t really constructive. But I have been led to fix things because of what someone left because that’s the benefit of posting something like that online. Editing is fairly simple!
But this is also a cause for worry. Eventually I will get around to getting a book on the route to publishing so the nerve wracking review situation will be magnified a thousand times over. I’ll have agents and publishers telling me “no” or “change this” long before I have the general public doing the same thing. And once a book book is out in print, that can’t be changed as easily as my fanfiction can!
So I must remind myself…every writer has heard the word “no”. They’ve had bad reviews. If they can handle it, I can handle it. And there’s sure to be someone who will like what I’ve written. And that makes me happy.