17 January 2014

Are Negative Reviews a Form of Bullying?

I was asked the question by a writer on Facebook long enough ago that I can't find her message and can't remember her exact wording. What I do remember really got me thinking... for months as layers of shame peeled back until I saw myself before the reviews to me now.

She wanted to know if I felt the negative reviews on Amazon for The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master , especially the ones that are so personal, are bullying. Yes, I can now say, yes, I felt bullied. Her question led me to understand how much criticism and bullying and judgment and punishment I've received in my life for being different -- as likely you also have to one degree or another.

Problem: The negative reviews worked. Rather than believe the vast majority of reviews which are positive in warm and incredible ways, I surrendered my own beliefs and pulled back from writing about so much that brings me joy -- like the Universal Story, the Writer's Way, the journey all of us share. I allowed the antagonists to fell me.

All of us have fears. When our fear(s) keep us from our dreams and if we're lucky, we're eventually forced to face that which haunts us and be stripped of everything until we learn we're bigger than our fears and ultimately that there is nothing to fear.

I spotted a quote  on Pinterest that moved me:

The writer's FB message sent me on a journey of remembering. I now appreciate the gift in the negative reviews that came so fast and the damage so swift and early. For me to do what I love, I've got to hold my own power or be silenced by and lose to those who don't agree with me and ridicule my ideas.

I also appreciate I can't be seduced by praise though I'm grateful to receive positive emails and messages about how my books and vlog have made you write more and understand yourself better. Thank you! Without a spiritual or inner plot, without a shared language and belief that there is more to life than simply the outer plot, rather than transcend, we're pulled back to wallow there in the muck of the past. I'm grateful to travel this path with you...

Today I write!

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