It’s a rite of passage for authors. The one-star review/rating. The dread of it kept me from writing for publication for decades.
In my young adult years I was tied to what people thought of me. It kept me up nights. The mere thought of putting my work out there for others to judge? Nope, I couldn’t do it.
Thankfully, I prayed a lot and went through several Bible studies that helped me. By the time I was thirty-five, I knew I had to surrender the fear. I promised God I would write for Him when He wanted, what He wanted.
Funny part is, I am so untied to opinions that I only look at reviews for marketing purposes. I know there are authors who watch their sales by the hour. Who lose sleep over reviews. I’m very grateful the Lord walked me through that fire before my name ever appeared on Amazon.
Yesterday I was working on marketing and came across a rating. It’s a newer release I haven’t promoted hard because it’s not in my preferred genre and I’m so behind. It’s the first review, so it hits like brick when you see one rating, one star.
The old mindset started to shake off the dust and spring to action.
You’re a failure.
Who will take you seriously with that rating?
They hated what you did.
Instead of those thoughts consuming me for days, I recognized they were from the true defeated one and deflected my thinking to truth.
I am called to write.
My true audience is an audience of One.
Because no review is attached, this person could hate me. There are a few out there. They could have read it during a free promotion and not realized there was a Biblical principle woven throughout. They could have hated the story. They could have thought that one-star was a great thing. They could be a troll just stirring it up.
I had to surrender it and move on.
Hours later I look at my email and see another trigger.
The unsubscribe button.
That tells me someone who signed up for my newsletter content no longer wants it. They could have just signed up for the freebies. They could have signed up thinking I was all romance and no Christ. They could find my newsletter links via social media and decide their inbox is too full. It’s hard to guess why someone dismisses it.
Of course, it’s all the ammunition the enemy needs. Two negative writing-related issues in one day? That’s going to break me, right?
Not so fast.
I did take a moment to lament. As a praying person, I really believe writing is in part why God created me. The purpose He revealed to me involves writing, speaking, and then praying for the remnant that approaches me. That hasn’t even all been fulfilled yet, I believe that season is coming. I did double check with my Heavenly Father.
Did I hear right? I thought You were delivering a breakthrough, but this feels like a breakup.
It reminds me of my labor. Ever the literal reader, my pregnant self digested those birthing books as fast as I was eating chocolate. The books explained transition, the part before delivery, is 20-40 minutes long and marked by a feeling of giving up. The books encouraged the expecting to hold on, breakthough it coming. All that work will pay off very soon with that baby.
My son did not read those books. As soon as I told my husband I wanted to quit, my eyes lit up because I realized I was in transition. Forty minutes to go, tops!
My transition was three hours long before they brought in the emergency surgery team for a C-section.
My guess is no matter what the call on our life, we are all in transition. 2020 is a straight-up shift with periods of shaking. I’ve been tempted to quit. Hide in bed and binge TV all day.
Here’s the thing I referred to the devil as the defeated one. That’s the name he’d rather you not know and certainly doesn’t want you to call him by. His resources are few and his time is short. He’d rather lie and tell us we are defeated.
By the blood of Jesus, we are not.
Did that one-star rating sting? Did the unsubscribe pinch? It did. But I lamented, took a breath, and went to my prayer place and pressed in. Transition isn’t fun an it hurts. But that birth is coming.
And all the hurt, rejection, and stuff of this year will be worth it.
Hang in there. (((hugs)))