Wow! Jay Cantrell got some people to sit up and take notice overnight. I exchanged a couple of emails with him about his blog post and was amazed that he's heard of me. I'd wanted to reach out to him since the email he'd gotten is a familiar one to just about every writer on SOL. I've seen them. After the cliff-hanger at the end of book 1, I saw a LOT of them. lol. I handle all of the negative feedback with as gentle a touch as I can. I recognize that not all stories are for all people and given how deeply emotional some of my writing can be, it's inevitable that I'll touch on someone's triggers, so their rage can be about something that happened in their own past that the story reminded them.
When someone just lays on the hate, I tell them I understand, point out that not all stories are for all people and I wish them luck on finding one that's right for them.
The ones that piss me off are the ones that drop a 1 or 2 rating on the story. I'm setting aside the humble for a moment. I don't think it's hubris to say that I think the story deserves better than a 1 rating. Even if a reader doesn't like the events, My Journey doesn't have a lot of spelling errors, grammar mistakes or jumbled sentences. I don't get the people that read a story that stays coherent for this long and then drop a rating of "You call that a story" after more than 30 chapters. It was obviously good enough to read that far.
While Jay's right that too many trolls can kill a writer's desire to continue, I have never felt more motivated to write as I have since I started posting to SOL. For every email that spews hate, I get more than a hundred that tell me that I've touched their lives. Some people have told me that similar things have happened to them and that they've been able to grieve for their own losses through Matt's struggles in ways that they hadn't before. That alone is enough for me to keep pushing Matt forward into a bright future.
Today, I'm going to push a little harder. Since we just passed 50,000 downloads on Book 2, today will be two chapters.
As always, thanks to the people who write to me, both the positive and the negative. I DO genuinely read each email and try to respond, even if it's to say goodbye to someone who vows never to read my work again.