I am that annoying person who would prefer that everyone like him. You all know somebody like that, and if somehow you don’t, well, now you’ve got me. Hello! Nice to meet you! Please acknowledge and like me!
Now, if you happen to be one of those people as well, and you have a strong desire to fuck with your own head, I highly recommend writing a book.
To borrow a phrase the founding fathers once said, “We hold this shit to be the truth” (or something like that): not everyone is going to like THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE. Fact. I sincerely hope a majority of readers do — if not, that would sort of be the opposite of what I was going for — but at this point, it’s no longer in my hands. The book is written. Que sera, sera. I’ve accepted that not everyone is going to like my writing style, or my dialogue, or my characters, or my poor excuse for plot. And I’m cool with that. We good, homie, no hard feelings, thanks for the opportunity. But I’m new to this — I’m still figuring out where the cafeteria is and everything, so to speak. So it’s the reviews that I think misrepresent the book, or me, for that matter, that are hard to swallow.
Return to the top of this post. Read. Rinse. Repeat.
I’m not sure there’s an officially-branded, author-approved method for dealing with that. Things like vodka, or self-inflicted blunt force trauma. I’ve found writing workshop experience a valuable tool to have here in the tool belt, as workshops force you to learn to constructively take feedback without lashing out at the world, agree or not. Or mine did, anyway. Maybe the WWE are hosting some interesting ones nowadays. There is always that temptation, however — one I suspect is an ingrained human reaction — to want to defend your work. It’s like a gag reflex, and, to stretch the metaphor a bit, I suppose in this analogy writing is a bit like sword-swallowing: if you want to be able to do the latter, you have to learn to suppress the former.
I think I’m intelligent enough (HA! Sorry, I crack myself up sometimes) to know that this too, will pass as they say. In the immortal words of Public Enemy, “Don’t let a win get to your head or a loss to your heart.” Learn what you can from the feedback, grow, and move on. At least, that’s the strategy I’m trying to adopt. If you find me on Instagram with a picture of my head through a wall, well, we’ll know how that worked out. Still, as Carly reminded me the other day, it’s important not to lose sight of how far it’s come. And that, on days like today, is the absolute truth.
Plus, this happened, so, you know. Bigger picture.
Curious about the THE FERRYMAN INSTITUTE? You can check it out here. Or, if you feel like riding the roller coaster with me, check out its Goodreads page and play along at home. There are wonderful prizes (legal disclaimer: there are no wonderful prizes. Colin is a liar).