I’ve experienced strong responses, some negative, some positive, but usually strong one way or another. Some were written by skeletons from my past, which was an irritant at first, but the ones I appreciate the most are those that are clear as to why the reader did/didn’t like it. I don’t mind negative feedback as long as I’m clear on why, and not just told, ‘this sucks’ or ‘this has to be ficticious.’ If you’re going to take the time to criticize at least be specific. Same goes if someone liked it. I don’t want to hear, ‘it’s great.’ I like when people say they could relate or that they learned something. There was one review written that said my book motivated the reader to exercise. That made me happy.
But I do remember in the beginning my ego being hurt and hating the ‘power-mad creeps’ who delighted in ruthlessly pulling others down. That was not easy to deal with. But I wrote a memoir so I was completely exposing IT ALL and expected a few negative responses. And a few of them I deserved now looking back. One thing on writing about your personal life is that it’s not just your writing that is up for scrutiny – it’s your character, your outlooks, everything. It’s like exposing your naked brain. All your raw thoughts. I don’t necessarily recommend it. It can become an on-going headache (pun intended!). You have to say good-bye to your ego to get it written and out there, and then just when you think you’re ‘so over yourself’ look out.
James, as a respected seasoned vet in the writing world, I think gives good advice as far as just not reading them anymore. I’m curious about the socks and panties…hmmm. That’s got me scratching my head and wanting to buy the book. I’m dysfunctional that way. No “Chicken Soup for the Soul” for me. No sir. Dirty socks and panties and DANG, you’ve got my attention! Go figure.