I was going to comment over at Sybil’s blog about this but got busy (basketball) and got sick (thanks #2 son).
On the one hand, we have Sybil asking about Hate Mail, and Lisa Valdez’s sophomore pressures. On the other, Sarah at LSC mentions reader reaction over some of her books either a) not having enough sex or b) having too much in the vein of her blog post. (links above).
You can’t please all the people all the time, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the internet is at the very least, a license to voice your opinion, if not be downright rude about it. One of the best pieces of writerly advice I ever found anywhere (and sadly, I don’t remember where I found it) was from SEP, the goddess of comedies that can make you cry.
Protect the Work.
If you take note of nothing else I ever say, take note of this. Sometimes protecting the work means turning down a book deal, refusing an editors request to make your book something it’s not, taking your toys and going home. Sometimes it means finding a new critique partner, or group. Sometimes it means firing an agent. Sometimes it means having someone else weed through your email for you. Sometimes it means stepping back from the internet, and the constant book chatter from readers found there. Sometimes it means avoiding those writerly “sisters” who have a tendancy to twist your gut and leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Ultimately what it means is do whatever you have to do to save your writerly sanity.