I’m back... I got them too a few days ago... It was too good to be true to have never received one! Because it is impossible to please everyone, people. Everybody knows. Why should it work differently for my book? My first thought was to contact every single person who said that my book was beautiful and give them the third degree. But since I did not want to antagonize my whole family, my friends and a lot of strangers, I opted for a simpler and faster solution: turn the screw on my husband. After ten minutes he raised his hands and gave up. I could not believe any of his positive comments on my book. One negative criticism and I was ready to cancel the existence of my book from all online stores! An exaggerated reaction, perhaps? Not for me... My insecurities feed on negativity, they wallow in it happily. They were waiting for it... But even if I am aware of it, I still feel disappointed by myself: «I could have done more, I could have written it better, I did not do justice to my characters and my story, etc.». What a bad feeling... Especially when you are an emerging author and you get doors closed in your face everyday regardless, because a self-published book by an emerging author is equivalent to: waste paper. Come on, let me cry for two seconds, just long enough to do an exercise to regain confidence in myself. 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... Let's take a good look at the situation. I read books loved by millions of readers who felt sorry once they got to the end while I counted the pages as a prisoner counts the days that are left in his sentence. Or I have madly loved books that many people have called illegible. Is it subjective, or not? Of course a book full of typos and serious grammatical errors will please a few, there is no doubt about that, but considering a finished book, which has undergone a massive dose of editing sessions, proof-reading, read by betareaders ect, the judgment remains subjective, I think. It comes to me from this the need to please everyone, feeling that is strongly present in human nature. I absolutely do not want to fall into this trap. Even if I had suffered from this self-distructive pathology during my twenties, I refuse to slip into ita t my age. I have no excuse, I know a little more about how the works and I have crystal clear clarity about my priorities. I do not fall for it. And then what about the disappointment that follows when you realize that it is not humanly conceivable to please evryone. It is a useless effort and you risk deleting your own person to shape it in what you believe will be good for those in front of you. Absolutely to be avoided at all costs. What now? I must concentrate on all the positive words that have been said to me since I published the book and I have in mind one in particular that from now on I will use as a mantra:
"I would read your shopping list, if written by you".
Ok, forse questa persona ha un tantino esagerato, lo riconosco anch’io mentre tengo a freno il mio entusiasmo… Magari poteva dire “scritto da te leggerei anche l’elenco telefonico” (sono nata nel 1980, passatemela questa!) o “scritta da te leggerei anche l’etichetta della bottiglia di shampoo”. Voi che dite? Sarebbe stata più sobria la frase così? E più credibile? Quando lessi quel messaggio mi misi quasi a piangere. Che fatica avere sempre bisogno di rassicurazione! Non sono una persona invidiosa, ma in queste situazioni invidio chi è sicuro di sé. Ah, come l’ha avuta facile… Una strada spianata come il culetto di un neonato. La mia strada è come il mio…, ehm, lasciamo perdere. Evito di lasciarvi con un’immagine infelice…
Ok, I stop here coz then I have to translate it all into English and my brain will probably explode in the effort.
To sum up: THINK POSITIVE. WHICH IS BETTER!! (as Smurf Brainy would say at least in Italian, I don’t know about the English version!), and never mind if the book did not amaze all the people who read it. Those who really loved it (I speak of all those who have contacted me to pay compliments to my book even though they do not even know me, relatives and friends do not count, come on!) are in my heart and I will always thank them. I will also write the next book thanks to them.
Update of the 27/11: I’m listening to a song these days that fits perfectly. I’m going to leave you the Youtube video. During the days when I wrote this article, two (not one, two) readers contacted me to tell me how much they loved my book. Coincidence? Who knows ...
Update of the 07/12: Mamma mia, if only I had known what would have happened! Yesterday I had to cancel an article where I commented on some reviews that had been written about my book. I was told that you cannot do this, that we authors should never comment on reviews and, to avoid other controversy (and other insults), I decided to cancel the article. Do you know how many views I had on the blog on that particular day? Almost 100! Unreal... I never had so many visitors in a day, not even half. 100 hypothetical readers lost because they had only one point of view and could not read my article (which I had already deleted) to realize that, in fact, I had been ironic, never rude or offensive and that I only limited myself to comment some points. Should I find myself in the vortex of a controversy to get views on my blog? No, thank you, I prefer staying invisible.
After half an hour of crying (I am human, made of flesh and bones!), together with my little girl who tried to console me, I decided it was not worth it. In my heart I know I have done nothing wrong. And I'm not (as I was told), an author who does not accept the negative criticism. No way! I also agreed on some of it and I mentioned it too! They told me I’ve got no idea about this world and I’m able to live in it: I already knew it for some time. I was told that I do not understand ... It's true, I do not understand why you cannot comment on the reviews in your blog (and not in the various blogs where they were published, I have been attacked on the page of my book) in a quiet way, without offending , without making fun of the work of others, without being disrespectful, without being superior ... No, I do not understand it and I take responsibility for my ignorance in the matter.