I’ve had three pro author friends more established than me come into the comments thread on the last post to pat me on the head and reassure me that Kirkus Hates Everything. This does indeed help, as does the quoting from their reviews of Gene Wolfe’s work.
It was an odd little Baby Writer Moment, as I got educated in something new to me (namely, the general snarky disdain of Kirkus, which I had not been aware of before).
Our brains are weird things. Psychologists have apparently established that it takes on average fifteen or so pieces of praise to outweigh one negative response. (As I headed for bed, I started tallying up how many positive reactions I’ve gotten, to see where my personal balance sheet stands. <g> We’re up to roughly eleven, as I count it.) Certainly writer-brain seems to lend itself to mood swings that would get any normal person put on medication: the PW review had my subconscious convinced that my book would storm the world, sweeping all before it, for NONE CAN DENY ITS MAJESTY!!!! Then I read the Kirkus review and dropped straight into the Doldrums of I Suck, do not pass Go, do not collect your royalty check because there won’t be one.
(An exaggeration. The actual emotional reactions have been magnified slightly for the sake of imagery. But only slightly.)
If we were rational beings, this math would make more sense. But we aren’t, and it doesn’t.