A recent review for one of my books said, “It was just okay.” On the upside, at least she didn’t hate it, but her comment got me thinking. How can you be so apathetic about something, yet passionate enough in your apathy to take the time to leave a review?
I’ve tried to stop reading reviews. Really, I have. These days, most times I think I read them more out of habit or boredom. At first, I rose and fell with ever positive and negative comment. With each five star review, I was relieved and felt validated, but let one scathing review come in and my confidence plummeted, and I was certain I should just throw in the towel.
Over the course of this past year, what the reviews have accomplished in me is this: I’ve become thicker skinned. I’ve had to. Christian women, especially behind the veil of anonymity online, will say some really mean things, forgetting that there’s a person attached on the others side. I’m finally okay with that. I’ve learned that we are all different and have varied tastes. How likely is it that we all like the same books? Not likely. So I’m finally comfortable that some don’t.
Here’s my point, I could have buckled after my first bad reviews, and honestly, if it weren’t for the good reviews far outweighing the bad, I likely would have. Most likely, I would have quit writing altogether. But I didn’t. I keep pressing on. Especially now, with my latest novel soon to release, I feel the pressure of meeting expectations set by the first. I wonder if you’ll like the book and the direction it takes. Because I’m way too in my head, I could allow that to cause me to truly fear, but God reminds me: I’ve written the story exactly as He’s given it to me. Truly, I first have to write for an audience of One. I can place it before Him in full confidence, knowing it’s my offering to Him and hope that it will touch lives. Maybe, somewhere tucked amidst the bazillion pages (it seems), something will touch your heart and draw you into the deeper waters with Him. May we never settle with being women who wade in the shallows.
So now, revisiting the term passionately apathetic, ask yourself: Is that you? Do you talk a good game, yet deep down feel more apathetic about your walk with Jesus? (That came outta nowhere and wasn’t the direction I saw this blog taking.) But are you? The new novel, Beyond 4/20, follows Chelsea’s journey from unknown apathy to true passion. I hope it will, in some way, encourage you to seek the same journey.
Blessings to you, and may you ever swim in the deep places.