Picasso Sucks

“I would never buy his work, and you couldn’t pay me to hang it up on my wall.”

This is what my husband told me after I became seriously heartbroken after another two-star review for my eco-fantasy novel, Water. His point was, my book will not be for everyone, just as Picasso’s work isn’t for everyone. I understand that. Hell – I embrace some of the more critical reviews and have made my novel better because of them.

To give you some perspective, as of today on Goodreads ‘Water’ has an average 3.86 stars out of 77 ratings. Here is the breakdown:


Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful to have 77 ratings at all. But why am I so obsessed with the fact that I have a below four star average?

Probably because I, myself, hesitate to read anything that has below a four star average.

Why do I spend countless hours gritting my teeth and analyzing the one and two stars and significantly less time celebrating the four and five stars?

Because I am human.

As authors, and especially as indie authors, we can say we have a thick skin all we want. But years and years of work go into one novel, and very often, we have given up so much to make it a reality. So when someone tears our baby apart, basically encouraging others not to give it a chance, it hurts.

But this is the reality of putting your creative work out there. Musicians, actors, and artists all go through the same thing. Under constant criticism, good and bad, how do we find the motivation to continue? Here is what I will try to keep in mind:

  • I can’t stop writing, any more than I could stop breathing. Even if the outlet of self-publishing wasn’t available to me, I would see my series through to the end – and then start on another series.
  • Despite his haters *glares at husband*, Picasso remains the top ranked artist (based on sales of his works at auctions as of 2004 according to the Art Market Trends report).
  • There are plenty of very popular and successful books with sub four star ratings on Goodreads to include Fifty Shades of Grey ,every single book in the Twilight Series, and plenty of Amanda Hocking’s books.

To be clear, I am not comparing my novels with these books – I aim to be better. I will also keep in mind that I don’t play it safe with my novels. I tackle tough issues; rape, violence, relationships that escalate too quickly, suicide, mental disorders, as well as gay characters. If that wasn’t enough, my third book of the series, Fire, which releases this October, opens with a birth scene. Squeamish? You won’t last the first chapter.

So I will take a deep breath, vow to stop starting my day by checking Goodreads, and….well…I will:

About Terra Harmony

Eco-Fantasy Author

Posted on May 25, 2012, in Miscellaneous and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I totally get why you obsess over the 1 + 2 star reviews. I can’t stand it when people say mean stuff about me, and I can only assume that criticising your book is criticising you to some extent. The way I try to look at things though, is that if someone disliked your book enough to write a 1 or 2 star review, then it has obviously meant something to them. I would suggest that evoking a ‘hate’ responce is probably preferable to evoking a ‘not bothered’ response.
    Sarah 🙂

    • Hi Sarah – thanks for your comment. I agree; the fact that they took the time to read (or at least start) my novel says something good about it – or at least the blurb, cover, or premise – in the first place. I do try to revel in the fact that I evoked an emotional response with my piece, that should be a good thing – right?

  2. I like the way your husband put it. I am not a writer, therefore, I have no idea what it is like to get a bad review, but knowing myself, I would take it well most likely. I’m sorry for you. I hope the goods ones outweigh the bad. (it looks like it so far from the picture)
    Have a great weekend. 🙂

    • Hi Tina – yep, so far the good definitely outweighs the bad, which is why I am shocked that I am still obsessed with the bad! Thanks for your comment and you have a great weekend, too!

  3. Hi Terra, I stumbled upon your blog, while searching for Picasso, just before going to Picasso exhibition in AGO. Book writing is tedious and tough, I am trying one. Long way to go. Wish you five stars in your next book. Keep up your enthusiasm.

  4. look everyone has different tastes and if you can’t see that than you are blind the whole piont of picasso’s work was to see things differently and appreciate them. And if you can’t see that than you sir are blind.
    So what if it is nothing lik the real thing it is still apprecated, he uses shapes, its a sign of seeing things differently.

  5. I am sorry if i hurt anyone’s feelings with my comment. Sorru again and good luck for anymore reviews Terra.

  6. Terra don’t let them get you down i love ur book i read it and i loved it!!!!

  7. plz dont call the title “picasso sucks” he is actually really good and just cuz u dont like his art doesnt mean others dont either. Ur book is awsome but u really didnt have 2 reffur 2 to

  8. Husbands are supposed to work that way sometimes. They’ll never let you know if your ass is fat, but they’ll tell you what *they think* is important. To me, this speaks volumes for him. He doesn’t want to risk what he percieves to be of improtance to you- a let down (which conveniently is the real topic of this thread), but he knows you more than we do, so he saw it coming.
    I’m just curious to know how long he seathed with it before he told you. It must have been agony for him.
    For what it’s worth, I think Picasso sucks, too.

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