(Self portrait in a letter, André Breton)
Here are some thoughts on reader reviews:
1. You are nowhere as good as your best review, especially if said review was written by a friend. (Thank you, friends.)
2. Likewise, you are not the sum total of your most negative review. Or, rather, the thing about your writing that person hated could very well be the thing the next person savors.
Which leads me to...
3. Writing is subjective.
4. Reading is subjective.
5. Writing and reading are subjective.
6. Resist the temptation to respond to your reviewers, even if you really, really want to.
7. This one's tough: try to absorb the constructive parts of the bad reviews, especially if they consistently reinforce your own worst suspicions about your writing.
8. By the next morning, say "Fuck 'em." Prove it. Stop refreshing your Amazon page every hour. You're not a lab rat. Earn back some self-respect.
9. Start over. Write. Do it because you love it. Do it because you must. Write for selfish reasons, because in my very possibly worthless opinion selfish writing gives way to honest, universal writing. Stop short of self-indulgence, though.
10. Be grateful for the ego check. Be thankful you have readers at all. Remember when publication was once a distant dream. Count the stretch marks of your progress. Treasure them all.
Stand tall. Climb the next hill.
Tumble to the bottom. Repeat if desired.
It's better with the blindfold off.