Your Origin Story
"April showers bring May flowers" is how the old saying goes. Oftentimes, this saying comes across as negative, I mean, who wants a dreary rainy day? But, it's these rainy days that bring beauty.
The same could go for negative book reviews. Now, if you ask any author, they'll probably tell you about their most awful review or maybe it was so bad that it made them laugh. It even happened to me, but laughter is not what I initially felt.
I was looking at reviews of my first science fantasy novel, "Memories of Chronosalis", just out of sheer curiosity. I came across one that was negative, but unique. The individual made a comment with no rating and stated that they refused to give a rating until I went back through the book with a better editor and something else that I can't quite remember. Honestly, I stared at this for a while and was rather peeved at first. This was my first novel as I had stated MANY times, it was also a re-write of a series that I started when I was 12. So, "Give a girl a break!" I thought. For weeks I was a bit bitter and I was seriously considering doing what the reviewer suggested. But the more I thought about it, the more I laughed, and eventually, I said, "NO!" and here's why.
First of all, I'll admit, that book definitely could have used a better editor. And yeah, his comment made me feel like maybe I should clean up some of the areas that could have had extra oomph to them. But, I also got to thinking about all the famous authors who have their first works out there. Sure, the authors have stated how much they hate some of their books and some have a LOT of revisions. But there are also some original copies that are worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars. I'm not saying that'll be the situation with this particular book. But what if I go back and make everything perfect, where's my origin story then?
Origin stories are so important and oftentimes artists forget about where and how they began. These original copies of books, artwork, sketches--these are what make an artist.
My late grandfather once asked me to never change my original series. He asked me to keep selling that series and never forget it. And I kept that promise. Instead, I kept pushing forward--always learning new writing techniques and bettering myself as a writer.
That's why I'm not going to go back and edit past books. Because they tell my story as a writer, I can go back to each book and tell you exactly what I was thinking during that process. In fact, I've even used those old books and I'm turning them into screenplays. My hope is that one day I can be a screenplay writer and my stories will come even more alive.
So, to my author friends out there, embrace the negative reviews! Maybe the reader misread your work or maybe the comments are valid. It doesn't matter, because your work represents your origin story and that, my friends, is something you cannot change!