So my brand-new, precious baby is just one week old today. She was formed inside me a long, long time ago.
As soon as that seed began to take shape and develop, I watched over her like any proud parent would. I nurtured her growth at every single stage. Sometimes I would get tiny, tantalizing peeks into what she would be like, and anticipation would build.
And then, the glorious day came when I welcomed her into the world! She arrived! I got to hold her for the first time, turn her over, and examine every minute and marvelous detail.
As crazy as it may seem, when an author welcomes a brand-new book into the world, it feels as though that book is borne from your being; those pages are part of who you are; every sentence that you painstakingly penned and prayed over are ones that somehow spilled out from the center of your soul.
Which is why, as author Alison Hodgson alluded to so humorously and hauntingly at the Breathe Writers Conference, when someone writes a review such as the one that I’m about to share, it’s tantamount to announcing to the author that your precious, brand-new baby is UGLY…
Nope. Illustrations were beautifully done, but the story… better nativity tales are out there. The ending just left me speechless before bursting out into laughter. It’s not even a good piggyback of the Twas the Night Before Christmas. Nice try, but no …. sorry.
Take a deep breath, the Goodreads team sensibly suggested. We strongly advise you not to respond to a critical review.
So I didn’t, even though every fiber of my being wanted to. Like every good, protective mama, my instinct was to defend my baby. But I didn’t.
Instead, I tried to focus on all the other five-star reviews which quickly followed that awful one, and found joy in the sweet encouragement they gave:
I adored the intimacy between Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in this clever re-imagination of the Christmas story…
What a beautiful story with brilliant illustrations…
A skillfully composed text…
A new spin on a classic tale…
Another poignant, beautiful book…
And perhaps, in a strange way, that negative review will actually turn into something positive. I mean, don’t you want to buy that book now, just to SEE what’s on the last page?
That one-star review wasn’t my first, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. They hurt.
But when God gives you words to share with the world, you share your words with the world.
And whether the reader loves them, or hates them, I can’t stop writing about God.
Enter the second giveaway in the ‘Twas Blog Hop here, read the encouraging words, and check out some wonderful photos of a little boy holding my brand-new, lovely baby. 🙂