springtime in portland

Bloom Amongst the Gloom

I don’t write about positivity and life enthusiasm on this blog, because I think I’m an expert. I have crap days, I carry a bouquet of insecurities, and I wonder if I my life has purpose.

And, I know I’m not alone.

Common answers I hear from my incredible guest bloggers when I first ask them to write for The Life Enthusiast Chronicles are…

  • Who me?
  • I’m not really a Life Enthusiast.
  • Are you sure?

My answers are…

  • Yes, you.
  • Yes, you are.
  • Yes, I am.

Hey, I get it.

We think a positive person looks, acts, and lives a certain way. We think that positivity is this unattainable thing reserved for a select few. A select few we’ve never actually seen in real life.

We are so hard on ourselves. Hell, when we hear that we are “good” rather than “bad”, we almost don’t know what to do.

I go through a range of absurd emotions—from blushing to stuttering, from crying to rushing away.

Back when I started this blog, I didn’t know what the hell I was going to write about. I just started writing.

What I did know was this one thing. I wanted to inspire without the bullshit.

I don’t like fluff and I don’t like dishonesty. I like what’s real—what makes us vulnerable and human. What makes us who we are.

Last weekend I saw this tree at the end of my hike.

forest park portland

Spotlighted by the sun, it was the one tree on this section of the hill that was blooming. It was leaning over, but another fallen tree was keeping it from crashing down.

Man, you guys, I just had a rough week.

Monday morning we had to rush Hazel the cat to the vet, because she got really sick, really quickly. She’s okay now, but things got pretty dicey.

The workweek was CRAZY busy, and the whole time I was still mentally recovering from the kitty scare.

Last night after that long week, I was so exhausted that I could barely keep my eyes open or make a joke. And, I joke around constantly.

First thing this morning, I decided to check and see if I received any reviews for Beneath the Satin Gloves since running it for free on Amazon recently.

It was a successful run, with nearly 700 downloads. I realize that the majority will never read it, but my one hope was to get more reviews.

Well, I got my first review from the promotion on Goodreads. It was one star, with no comment. 

With few decent reviews out there, that just drove my sad little average right down.

You know something? I’m not bulletproof, and I never will be.

The bad review jarred me. And yes, I even had the old “Why in the hell do I keep writing?” thought permeating my mind.

Then, I thought about that tree, blossoming when nothing else around it was. So, I brushed off the shitty week and the shit review and decided not to fall.

Dammit, today I’m gonna bloom.

41 thoughts on “Bloom Amongst the Gloom

  1. Ignore the review with one star, Britt. There are some goons out there, who call themselves writers and make a habit of giving their fellow writers one star and, sometimes, horrendous reviews. Then they write brilliant reviews for their own stuff under other names. It’s tough out there and I think you’re very brave going Indie. Don’t let one person undermine your confidence. Keep at it, promote your book still further, and believe in your work 🙂

    1. I know there are some goons out there. It’s shocking that people still play the review lying game, but I suppose it’s part of their marketing strategy. I believe in keeping it real, and though it’s a tough hill to climb, I know that I’m staying true to myself.

      Thanks for your encouragement, Sarah! You’re very sweet.

  2. Boy do I hear you on this one Britt, I’ll spare you all the craziness of my week, except trashing my IPAD and thus my copy of Satin Gloves : (
    Your photo and post were the tree that that fell before me. Thanks for that, keep bloomin, peace a

    1. Oh, no! So sorry for your iPad, sweetie. Don’t worry about Satin Gloves. I own a copy through Amazon, so I can lend it to you for free at any time. The catch is that you have to read it within 14 days, but it’s a short, quick read. Just email me whenever you want me to send it to you.

      Glad me and the tree could you help out. Bloom on! 🙂

  3. That is the attitude to have. So sorry about your crappy week. That’s the bad thing about those promotions. They open authors up to a bevy of reviews, some perhaps from those who don’t enjoy the genre but picked it up anyway. And GR reviewers are notoriously tough. But you brushed it off and that’s the way to do it!

      1. My skin thickened after a Bookbub promotion. Now when I see a one or two star rating for my book on Goodreads, I feel a sting for a few minutes and then move on. Usually…

  4. Sorry for the rough week and the review that’s not as good as you hoped. You can’t satisfy everyone. But don’t dwell on this one where there are so many others that are good, many other people who enjoyed the book and who will when they’re done reading it!

    Enjoy today, tomorrow will be better!
    Cheers!

    1. Oh, it’s so true. You especially can’t satisfy everyone when it comes to art. And, deep down I know this, but it’s still tough sometimes. Here’s hoping the people that like it will leave a review too! That’s another tricky part. (Fingers crossed.)

      Thanks, love! Hugs.

  5. I’m so glad to hear that Hazel is feeling better, the poor little thing! I like the life lesson you took from the tree. My mother always says that when your day starts off badly it ends up well. Completely untrue at times but it never fails to reassure me when I’m through a bad day, knowing that things will get better. Eventually. Whenever that might be 🙂

    Give Hazel a hug and a kiss from her blogging pal, Baffi.

    1. The trees know a thing or two, and since I’m surrounded by so many out here, I can’t help but learn from them. I love what your mother always said. Everything does get better.

      Aww, that is so sweet. Hazel appreciates Baffi’s healing touch. 🙂

  6. I’ve walked alone in the forest in very early Spring and came to Redbuds blooming all alone while all the other trees are just starting to recover from Winter. I think it hit me the same way you felt. Hopeful. If it weren’t for crappy weeks how would we know what a good week was? But they still suck.

    So glad Hazel is better.

    You have true positivity, Britt

    1. That’s awesome, Dannie! I agree. We certainly can’t be happy all the livelong day, and life is always phenomenal in my eyes. It’s good to have a crap day or week every now and then. I learn the most about myself during those times.

      Thanks, pal!

  7. You are forever evolving Britt just like the tree you are adding depth and branching out all over the place. Take risks, live boldly and be grateful. I think you empower all of these and so you are way ahead of the rest of those people who just dream about their dreams. You are living them. Keep writing I am told you find your wings after your fifth book, you must be close now. I will get to reading your books soon I have many on my pile. I never download unless I read them. Its just finding the time.

    1. Aw, that’s so sweet of you to say. I like being one with the trees. 🙂

      Ooh, it’s gonna be a while until I finish that fifth book! I hear ya on the finding time thing. That goes for reading and writing for me. I have to squeeze both of them in, but I’m glad that I can. xoxoxo

  8. First, beautiful post. And as real as they come.

    Second, never look at Goodreads. An author who has sold 10x what I’ve sold told me never to look there. I’ve gone a couple times to look,a and it’s just brutal. So, no more looking there!

    Finally, I used to think about giving up, too. It’s allowed, You’re in the toughest phase right now. You’ve put in a tremenous amount of work and sacrificed a ton of time and energy, PLUS you’ve put yourself out there. Most writers never do any of those things, but until it starts to pay off, you’ll feel like you were duped. You’ll feel like a complete sucker. You’ll wonder why you did all this. Wasted so much time.

    It’s natural, especially when you’ve worked as hard as you have. Just never give up believing. And keep on writing. (Preferably, series, IMO.)

    1. Haha, Stan! Great advice. I’ve heard it before, but I think in these early stages, it’s hard to avoid peeking. I look less and less though…maybe once a month. Usually someone has to call out my name on Twitter for me to know there’s a new review.

      Thank you for saying all of that. I know I’m not alone with feeling like giving up on writing. It’s not easy, but I just try to live by my writing motto. Do it for the love. Thinking I should get that tattooed on my forehead. 🙂

    1. That guy is hilarious! Never watched him before. I lost it when he was talking about the Dockers pants being more interesting than other things. So funny…thanks for sharing, love. 🙂

  9. Sorry you had such a rough week. 😦 I’m glad your cat is doing better, and don’t let that one-star review bother you! I feel that most of the time, when one stars are awarded without justification, they don’t have any significant impact. People look at the reviews, not the stars. As long as you’ve got good reviews, you should be fine.

    Keep on blooming! 🙂

    1. It’s all good. Hazel the cat is getting into everything again and waking us up at 4am because she’s running around like a crazy thing. She’s back!

      Thank you, honey. The reviews are definitely more important.

  10. I can’t imagine anyone giving Beneath the Satin Gloves one star – I loved it! It amazes me when I look up my favorites on Goodreads and see people giving them one or two stars. But then it also shows that’s always going to happen. Some people can’t find happiness no matter where they look and others – like you – will find it everywhere.

    1. Aw, thank you, doll! That is very sweet. It was especially tough, because I reedited the whole thing and put more blood, sweat, and tears into it. So, I’m a bit fragile at the moment.

      Thanks, honey. You’re a good shoulder to lean on. 🙂

  11. The very top best sellers get a complete range of reviews – fives to ones. An honest ‘one’ is rare and should be reserved for the very seriously flawed. No one in their right mind would score BtSG that low. Discard it in your own mind Britt. We know the truth in that you have written three very good novels by anyone’s standard.

  12. So sorry to hear you had a crappy week Britt 😦 What I admire about you is your honesty and the courage to write about the raw edges of life as well in an almost adorable authentic way. (adorable, not fluffy!! 😉 ) Expectations. We all have them to some extent. I get it. Of course you want your first review to be a good one, who wouldn’t? It’s ok to feel annoyed by that. Just allow those feelings as well. You have so much going for you. Like I said, you’re bold, authentic, and inspire people (me) for just being you; a true life enthusiast! and I know you’ll have what it takes to see things through. Be like the tree, that doesn’t give a crap and despite of it all just blooms anyway. Give it time. Of those other 699 there will undoubtedly be who really enjoyed the book. Keep writing. I already love love your blog and will get to reading your books soon..promise.

    Glad to hear your sweetie is doing much better. Love cuddles to Hazelxxx

    1. Eh, crappy weeks happen. I thought about not writing about one, but darnit, sometimes they just happen. 🙂

      Aww, thank you, gorgeous! So many compliments…I don’t know what to say. But I love your tree analogy, and I shall be like the tree.

      Thanks, honey!

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