Using Instagram to Break Out of Writer’s Block

I haven’t been doing much writing lately. Who am I kidding, I haven’t written but a few pages here and there since the end of last year. I could easily say life’s gotten in the way, but the honest truth is I just haven’t felt inspired. And what is the writing life if you’re not inspired?

Inspiration, breaking yourself out of a self-imposed writer’s block, can come from some most unusual sources. Take social media for example. I’m not talking about websites like Writer’s Digest or any other writer’s magazine, chock full of well-intentioned but obvious advice – “A writer writes!” – that often times can leave a writer more discouraged than inspired. I’m talking about leveraging Instagram.

Instagram? You mean that app where people like Miley Cyrus and millions of others post selfies, or pics of their cats? Yeah, that app. I’m on Instagram, and I’m just as guilty of a few selfies as you are. But in between the selfies and cat pics are writers and poets posting snippets of their work. I’ve found these writers, thanks to Christina Hart, aka Daily Rants with the Bitch Next Door, and some of the writing I’ve been reading has been nothing short of profound and daring.

So I decided to take the plunge into the Instagram writer’s community pool and post some of my work:

Call it micro-fiction, or even poetry, but it’s me flexing my writing muscles again. You can’t cycle up a mountain without getting on the bike and hitting a few short roads first, no?

Question for you, dear reader: do you use other social media sites to motivate or inspire you or your writing? Share your results below!

In Praise of Late Bloomers

For those of us who are in our 40s and are constantly reminded that creativity is best suited and served for by those younger than us (see Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 List), here’s a reminder that just because you’re 45 and you still haven’t published that novel (or, worse yet, finished it) doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

In Praise of Late Bloomers

The history of literature is rife with so-called “late bloomers,” writers who had the desire and the inklination to write, but never had a major work published until they turned 40 or later. Charles Bukowski didn’t publish his first novel, “Post Office,” until he was 51. Toni Morrison was nearly 40 when her first novel was published. You get the idea.

We tend to romanticize this notion that youth is a requirement for producing major works of art, and while that may be the case in, say, music or visual art, it doesn’t lend itself that well to literature. Sure, you can write a great novel when you’re 25. But you can also write a masterpiece when you’re 50.

For more inspiration, there’s Bloom, “…for writers and artists of all ages and stages, for anyone who believes that the artistic journey is, and should be, as particular and unique as each one of us; that there is no prescribed beeline to literary achievement.”

I, for one, need to be reminded of this every day, and remember that it will never be too late for me to achieve what I want to achieve as a writer.

“Man of Clay” by CL Bledsoe – Virtual Book Tour



Today is the last day of CL Bledsoe’s virtual book tour celebrating Man of Clay, a novel with elements of magical realism and a dash of steampunk. This funny, engaging story redefines what Southern Literature is capable of being. Man of Clay can be pre-ordered today!


I was raised by storytellers who recreated the drab, flat Arkansas Delta world as a place of legend. The smallest events could take on mythic status. Years ago, a farmhand worked for my father. He was a somewhat shiftless young guy, a nephew of someone who my father hired as a favor. One day, he was backing a truck full of soybeans, meaning to turn it around, though he’d been warned just to back it out. As he eased the truck back, he kept repeating, “Doin’ good, doin’ good,” until he backed it into a ditch and turned the truck over, dumping the harvest out. Forevermore, he became Doin’ Good, and the tales of his exploits were legendary.


Doin’ Good was a minor character, though, compared to the legend of my father, whose exploits could fill up a novel by themselves. From the time he learned a brother-in-law was a jogger, challenged him to a footrace in rubber boots, and won, to the practical jokes he and my uncles used to play on each other, my father was a larger-than-life character who imbued my childhood with a kind of magic. When he wasn’t acting out tall tales, he was telling them, from jokes he made up to stories passed down for generations.


When I wrote Man of Clay, I was inspired by these kinds of stories. I looked to the folk tales collected by Vance Randolph, Zora Neale Hurston, and others, as well as stories my father told me. One story trope, especially, stood out: the Big John stories. Big John is a trickster character, with origins traced back to the Anansi the Trickster stories that were brought over by African slaves. The spider, Anansi, became Big John, a slave who matched wits with Master, and almost always won, though often at great cost. (These stories further morphed into the more palatable Brer Rabbit stories). I thought it was important that I stay true to the spirit of the Big John stories, but that I make up my own for the book to pay homage.


Book Cover


In Man of Clay, Big John appears as a symbol of hope for the slaves. Some of his stories are fairly whimsical—like the one where Master’s wife tries to seduce Big John, and he escapes by climbing a ladder up to the moon—and some are much darker, like the one about the time Big John dressed his daughters up like sons to hide them from Master. When Master discovers the subterfuge, he murders the girls, but not before being forever humiliated.


The great power of these tales is their tragedy. These aren’t Disney stories with happy endings; they are brutal, sardonic stories in which the only real gain is often a simple revelation of humanity, which might come at the cost of the lives of those Big John cared for most; instead of a Prince Charming or a golden castle, Big John simply wanted to be treated respectfully and recognized as a human being.


CL Bledsoe is the author of four poetry collections, one short story collection, and five novels, including the Necro-Files series. His stories, poems, essays, plays, and reviews have been published in hundreds of literary journals, including Cimarron Review, Barrow Street, New York Quarterly, Gargoyle, Nimrod, Arkansas Review, Pank, Potomac Review, and many others. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize thirteen times, Best of the Net four times, and has had two stories selected as Notable Stories of the year by Story South’s Million Writers Award. Bledsoe currently lives in Alexandria, VA, with his daughter.

Author Photo

(REPOST) – NaNoWriMo Is Upon Us: How to Get Inspired Even If You’re Not Participating

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts here lately. Life’s getting in the way of blogging. Hopefully that will change soon.

I read this article this morning on Flavorwire, and was thinking of everyone taking part in NaNoWriMo, and those of us who aren’t:

NaNoWriMo Is Upon Us: How to Get Inspired Even If You’re Not Participating

Some helpful ideas to keep us writers engaged while we’re not participating in NaNoWriMo.

As NaNoWriMo Approaches, A Decision…

Around this time, many of you, myself included, would begin gearing themselves up for the exhilarating marathon known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Thirty days, 50,000 words. I myself have participated in it three times, having successfully completed it in 2012. It’s a blast, let me tell you. There’s no greater rush than that final week, the words simply flying out from you, and you’re not editing yourself as you’re going along. Just let it come out of you, and the rest will follow. It’s an incredible high, and, believe me, I know highs.

Right before the November 1st kickoff, we NaNers (the term I use for NaNoWriMo participants; the proper term is “NaNoWriMos”) will prepare ourselves, if we are the preparing type. We have a precise idea of what our new work is going to be about. We’ve begun outlining the story, fleshed out characters, consulted our trusted books on the writing craft. We’ll even put together our NaNoWriMo Survival Kit – lots of caffeine and snacks will be involved.

So how am I preparing for NaNoWriMo 2014?

I’m not.

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Nope. Not happening.

While I do have some life events that will likely prevent me from dedicating as much time as I’d need to give NaNoWriMo the attention it deserves (I start a new full-time job in two weeks, and my wife may be having surgery in mid-November), the honest truth is that I simply don’t feel like taking part this year. I’m in a self-diagnosed writing funk lately, and NaNoWriMo isn’t going to spur me out of it, either. I haven’t written much of anything lately, and what I’ve written doesn’t interest me. I’ve taken a short break from writing just to recharge and rethink some strategies. Taking part in NaNoWriMo isn’t a strategy that I want to be a part of right now, since my head and my heart just aren’t in it.

I will, however, cheer my fellow NaNoWriMo survivors on. If you’re embarking on this annual marathon, know that I’m thinking of you, and I know you’ve got what it takes to reach the finish line. But remember, ultimately it’s about the challenge, not the finished product. If you can’t finish, don’t beat yourself up over it.

If you’re thinking about doing this, for the first time, NaNoWriMo is a great exercise in the art of sticking to a deadline. While 30 days and 50,000 words won’t produce genius, it will produce that ass-in-seat mentality you need to be an effective writer…says the writer who’s taking a sabbatical from writing.

Ignore me.

Anyway…more from me later, from the writing front, soon.

A Self-Published Author’s Thoughts on the Whole Kindle Unlimited Thing

Like you, I was completely caught by surprise by the whole Kindle Unlimited thing. Unlimited access to over 600,000 titles on any device for just $9.99 a month? Wait…doesn’t Scribd do something like this already? Do we really need another Netflix-like book-borrowing system. I was skeptical, but on the hunt for something to read (I’m still slogging through The Goldfinch, for some reason…), I fired up my Kindle after a several month hiatus and saw the ad for Kindle Unlimited. I took a read. A 30-day free trial was enough to get me at least remotely interested.

The good thing was I did find a lot of titles I would be greatly interested in reading. Of course, no titles from any of the Big 5 publishers, but that was to expected. The bad thing: you’re only allowed to borrow ten titles at a time. Bad deal? Maybe, but then again, your local public library probably imposes a borrowing limit as well.

Limits aside, I was hooked. I blitzed through three books in a day and a half, and I eagerly returned these so I can picked up three more. I can see why this, for the customer, is appealing. I know Amazon has the same kind of thing with Prime, which is included with the Prime membership (which I don’t have), so for Amazon to offer something similar seems like a win-win for both the online retailer and the customer.

Then I started thinking about the authors. How are they getting compensated for their books being “borrowed?” Immediately, I’m thinking about the shittastic business model that is Spotify, where you have to download, for example, the new Imagine Dragons album, oh, what 87,124,713 times in order to match the same exactly royalty payment the band would get where I to buy their album from Target? Not that I would, because Imagine Dragons bore me to tears, but you get my point. What if a book has to be borrowed about 93 billion times before an author sees a $120 royalty check?

Better yet, where is Kindle Unlimited getting all 600,000 of these titles from? I noticed a few Harry Potter titles, and the Hunger Games trilogy…hang on, didn’t I see an e-mail from Kindle Direct Publishing the other day, that I may or may not have ignored?

Today we are excited to introduce Kindle Unlimited-–a new subscription service for readers in the U.S. and a new revenue opportunity for authors enrolled in KDP Select.

Do I know of any authors enrolled in Kindle Direct Publishing Select? Oh, wait a minute...I’M A KDP SELECT AUTHOR! HANG ON! WHY WASN’T I INFORMED OF THIS? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE? HOW DARE AMAZON ALLOW MY MASTERPIECE TO BE oh who I am kidding?


(Here’s the pic I snapped of the search results for my book, which I posted on my Instagram account)

Upon first reaction, I was pleased. It means some more exposure. Some new ways to market my book, perhaps (more on that below), and spread the word.

Upon second reaction, I started thinking about that Spotify example again, and whether I’d get royally hosed in the ass, royalty speaking. I started looking into this issue a little deeper.

From the friendly little e-mail I received from Kindle Direct Publishing just the other day:

KDP Select authors and publishers will earn a share of the KDP Select global fund each time a customer accesses their book from Kindle Unlimited and reads more than 10% of their book-–about the length of reading the free sample available in Kindle books-–as opposed to a payout when the book is simply downloaded. Only the first time a customer reads a book past 10% will be counted.


I dug a little deeper, searching for help topics at KDP’s website:

To qualify for royalty payment

You’re eligible for royalty payment from Kindle Unlimited each time a new customer reads more than 10% of your book for the first time. A customer can read your book again as many times as they like, but you will only receive payment for the first 10% read.

So this means that in order for me to get the royalty due my book, which is 149 pages long, should someone borrow it, they need to get past Page 15. In other words, they’ll read the first two or three essays. Fine.

But nowhere does it tell me how that royalty is calculated. I did see this over at Michael J. Sullivan’s terrific blog piece at Digital Book World:

Self-published authors are paid from a pool set by Amazon each month. They have no idea how much they will be paid per book.


So rather than settling on, say a flat 20% royalty (I’m probably overstating, considering Amazon’s going to get their pound of flesh and maybe more) for every borrowed book, I might (key word “might) be getting, on average, $2 per month, whether my book gets downloaded a shit-ton or four times max. I mean, just how is this pool calculated? How will I, or the thousands of other self-published authors who’ve opted into Kindle Direct Publishing, know exactly how much of a payment we can expect?

It’s fuzzy, that’s for sure, but my hope is that enough voices will be raised, and a royalty structure that’s fair to self-published authors will come to fruition very soon.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I threw my book up there just to get the feel for self-publishing, to give myself a crash-course on the good, the bad, and the ugly on what it means, and what you have to do, in order to self-publish, and do it successfully. My book’s a non-fiction tome with a somewhat limited audience, and I readily accept it’s something of a challenge to market an anthology (I’ve found people really do hate that term!) of previously-published blogs, but so be it. As far as my experiences with Kindle Direct Publishing – and, to a larger extent, CreateSpace, Amazon’s self-publishing imprint – have been very positive. Should I decide to self-publish, and that’s a very distinct possibility, I will likely opt for KDP once again, exclusivities and fine print be damned.

But I do admit the current payment format allotted for self-published authors whose books are part of the Kindle Unlimited program has me concerned.

In the meantime, here’s an interesting marketing strategy: why read when you can borrow? Sure, I’d rather my book sell like hotcakes, but I’ll take it being available in a wide format like this. So, if you’re on the lookout for some funny, insightful, slightly offensive but always thought-provoking essays on sex, marriage, politics, music, why your favorite band sucks, leggy supermodels, and James Patterson, then be a cheap ass read my book, “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run: Seven Years of Rants, Raves, Dirty Jokes and Bad Ideas From a Small But Loud Corner of the Blogosphere” for free, once you sign up for Kindle Unlimited.

Then tell me how much you loved it.

Want to Write Better? Let Ernest Hemingway Help!

In my never-ending quest to learn valuable tricks of the trade, I stumbled upon the best app a writer can use to effectively help them understand how to write better. It’s called the Hemingway App, and it’s very simple to use. You cut and paste some random text, and let the Hemingway App analyze the text for the following:

  • Sentences that are hard to read
  • Sentences that are VERY hard to read
  • Adverbs – dreaded words that end in “-ly”, like “effortlessly“, “really” and “overly,” for example.
  • Words or phrases that can be simpler
  • Uses of passive voice
  • Readability (think grade level)

I recommend reading the text that appears on the app first, to get a better idea of how the app works, before you copy and paste your own text and let Hemingway App analyze how good a writer you are.

To show how this works, I took a screenshot of an analysis the app did on a short story I wrote a couple of years ago:

hemingway snap

Overall, the story possesses good readability. If anything, I was guilty of using too many adverbs. Then again, how many is too many adverbs? Some will say a few, others will say none at all. Regardless. the analysis left me with a great feeling about my writing, and it helps me to see where some strengths and weaknesses lie.

This app appeals greatly to me, for the simple reason that it’s got the name Hemingway associated with it. Hemingway was my first literary hero. I devoured The Complete Short Stories and The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories one summer during high school, and then moved on to his novels. From Hemingway, I learned the importance of choosing the right word, even if it means opting for a simpler, more direct method of prose than a more dynamic, floral prose often practiced by some of his contemporaries. He still remains one of my greatest literary heroes.

So if you’re looking for a tool to help your writing become more focuses, more leaner, more meaner even, you might want to give the Hemingway App a whirl. It’ll be fun, at the very least.

Kill Your Darlings (Insecure Writers’ Support Group)

May 1st, May Day for the rest of the world. You know what that means, comrades…yes, it’s another edition of Insecure Writers’ Support Group. Viva El IWSG!

This Blogging Things Works Wonders! (Insecure Writer's Support Group)

Wow, is it May 1st already? Sheesh, where has this year gone? I feel like I really haven’t accomplished much. My novel’s still in third draft status, that dreaded third draft status. But I think all of that is going to change.

I was reading through some forums on a writer’s group on Linkedin earlier this morning. One thread, entitled, “Do you ‘Murder your Darlings’?” caught my attention. The thread’s creator, Carolyn Egan, wrote the following regarding this:

“This famous quote sometimes attributed to Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, reminds us to ruthlessly revise our writing, especially those flowery overwritten passages that can work against us by obscuring the meaning of our prose from our reader. Are you too in love with your ‘darlings’ to murder them?”

I’m familiar with this trope, the idea that your writing can get bogged down by the things you’re in love with, but in all honesty are really hurting your story’s progress. I wrote the following response to Carolyn’s question:

“I think of these ‘darlings’ like I think of being in relationships. Are these relationships ones you want to be in? If a relationship I’m in is on that’s filled with subplots and interesting minor characters, but nothing really concrete I can build something on, then it’s time to end the relationship. Sounds harsh, and there will be feelings hurt, but there’s nothing worse than sticking stubbornly to something that simply doesn’t work.”

Spoken like an asshole that’s broken a heart or two…

My novel, about a superhero in the midst of a midlife crisis, has a subplot regarding a corporation made up entirely of superheroes. Our protagonist was once part of this corporation, but he and the corporation have been on the outs for the longest time. Also adding to the strain in that relationship is the fact that his ex-wife is pretty high up in the corporation, and her loyalty throughout the story seems to be questioned.

And it’s dawned on me that this subplot just isn’t working anymore. Sad, because the idea of a corporation of superheroes is the genesis of my novel, an idea that began nearly two years ago during a free-form conversation my wife and I were having about nothing at all. Sort of like a cross between X-Men meets The Office.

The thing is, I like my main plot much more, the superhero in midlife crisis. It’s been near and dear to me for the better part of a year, and, honestly, that plot flows much more freely, without the weighty subplot. Like a girlfriend that’s beautiful but bad for me, I’ve decided to “kill” the subplot.

Of course, I can’t let certain things go. Eventually, I’d like to revisit the whole X-Men meets The Office story line, because it was funny when my wife and I riffed on it a couple of years ago, and I still think it’s funny. It’s even funnier when it’s allowed to stand alone.

But for now, my darling, I must let you go.

Some Very Exciting Publication News!

There are moments in your life that you’ll remember for the milestones they are. Your first kiss. The day you got married. The birth of your first child. That day you told your boss you had enough of his shit and he could fuck off and go ahead and fire you already. Real important milestones.

Another milestone is approaching, and it’s one that I’m really excited about. So excited when I received the news, I just about crapped my pants. Okay, I really didn’t crap my pants, but I was extremely excited. There might have been some accidental peeing. Maybe not.


So, without further ado, I am really excited to announce that my first book, “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run,” an anthology of blogs written between 2005 and 2012, will be available for sale via and, as well as CreateSpace’s e-site, starting next week, in both paperback and Kindle formats! AWE-FRIGGIN’-SOME!

cover copy

The description of the book, from the Goodreads book page:

In this first – and hopefully last – collection of thought-provoking essays (read: blogs), minor Internet blogging sensation Gus Sanchez tackles a variety of hard-hitting topics such as marriage, parenting, politics, racism, your lousy taste in music, hipsters, bad writers, rude supermodels, sex scandals of the rich and famous, and, um…Phil Collins.

Culled from seven years’ worth of blogs taken from such blogging platforms as MySpace, WordPress, Blogger, and Open Salon, Out Where the Buses Don’t Run is a collection of some of the best and most memorable blogs Gus Sanchez has ever posted. Well, the ones worth reprinting at least. With such classics as “How ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Ruined Male Bonding,” “I Think I’m Gay, Or: ‘I’ll Take ‘Musicals’ For $1,000, Alex!,'” “How Leggy Supermodel Christy Turlington Made Me Self-Conscious About Smiling at Strangers in Public,” and “On James Patterson, Or: You Can Shove Your Words of Wisdom Up Your Ass, You Hack!” this anthology will read less like a self-absorbed missive and more like a thoughtful yet outrageously funny insight into the human condition.


In the coming days and weeks, I’ll post some more details about release dates, where you can buy a copy (you know you want to), some giveaways I’ll be running on Goodreads, and other news involving the book. Additionally, I’ll post a sneak preview before the end of the week, an excerpt from the book that I think you’ll find both hilarious and highly disturbing. I might even do a video read of one of the pieces from the book. Stay tuned.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank you, my dear readers, for your support and generosity. You gave me the encouragement to pursue this project, as spur of the moment as it was.  From inception to completion, it took four months to go through nearly 600 previously written blogs, choose 32 of the ones I felt reached a larger audience, and then edit those for content and grammar, proofread, re-edit, re-proofread, re-edit once more, and design the cover. Not a Herculean task by any stretch, but it gave me a strong indication of what putting a book together, from a self-publishing perspective, feels like. And I’d do it again and again and again.

Thanks, you guys!

Authors Behaving Badly (Insecure Writer’s Support Group)

First Wednesday in April, and that means another installment of Insecure Writers’ Support Group.

This Blogging Things Works Wonders! (Insecure Writer's Support Group)
Criticism, whether good or bad, is something that takes place in our personal and professional lives. But let’s face it, we can’t please everyone. Whether you perform music or write novels or paints murals or make films, an artist/musician/writer/director knows not everyone will appreciate your work. When you put your work out there, for public consumption, it’s inevitable that an artist’s work will draw some negative reviews. Getting a bad review sucks. Whether it’s a bad performance review at work, or a bad review for a novel you’ve written, you take it personally. Other people like it, why does this other person dislike my novel?

We want to please everyone. The fact that the books we write or are going to write aren’t universally adored fuels our anxieties and insecurities. I say balls to that. Forget pleasing everyone. The only person you’re supposed to please is yourself, bad reviews be damned. Of course they’ll sting, but the good reviews make up for those stings. They’re the salve that soothe those stings.

There’s always a silver lining to a bad review, if one reads a bad review closely. For example, if my manager tells me I dropped the ball on a certain project I was working on, I’ll take that as my cue to look back and understand where it was I failed, and how I can improve my performance the next time around. I’ve had my work torn apart many times during writers’ groups, and I’ve resist the urge to yell and scream at those who critiqued my work. I’ve also been on the other side, giving my honest feedback. It’s going to hurt, but I look at it this way: as much as I don’t like you blowing smoke up my ass, I won’t blow smoke up yours.

The point is, there’s a right way to accept criticism, and one should never accept criticism personally. Take the high road, you know, and use criticism as a learning tool.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of writers that do take criticism personally. These writers are known as the Authors Behaving Badly, reacting poorly and unprofessionally to negative criticism and reviews, and sometimes resorting to stalking and bullying against the reader who dared post a negative review against them online. Here’s a few examples:

– Author Phil Torcivia strongly believes that negative criticism has no place on the Internet, and should be direct to the author discreetly. Okay, fine. I don’t agree, but fine, that’s his opinion. But he takes this belief over the line by insisting that he cannot find a way to forgive the person who posted a negative review of novel, because forgiving such a sin only allows her to do the same to other writers. What the fuck? Wait, it gets better…he concludes his rant by declaring that revenge is the only alternative, and he will post a negative review of her novel, just so she can get a taste of her own medicine! TAKE THAT, YOU SHREW!

He gets his shit jumped for displaying such obnoxious behavior, though. Kudos to the readers of this blog for calling out his bullshit.

Melissa Douthit reacts to a negative review of another author’s novel (again: not hers) by launching a personal attack against the reviewer, who maintains a pseudonym and avatar that isn’t her. Douthit reveals the reviewer’s identity, posting her real photo, her home address, and her e-mail address. A classic example of cyberbullying. How disgusting.

This was a fight Melissa Douthit lost, and lost badly.

– This one is just plain silly: not only did Emily Giffin’s husband react badly to a negative review posted on Amazon by slamming the reviewer online, but then Emily Giffin’s assistant joins the fray and blast anyone who dares give Emily Giffin’s new novel a bad review, and, to make matters even worse, Emily Giffin herself passive-aggressively posts update after update both admonishing her husband for reacting badly to negative reviews, and then post more updates whining about getting bad reviews. To make matters worse, some of Giffin’s fans decide to take matters into their own hands and start harrassing the woman who posted the first negative review that started this frascas in the first place.

What a dumb shit Emily Giffin comes across as, especially for a well-known author such as her. A little fucking restraint would have helped her a great deal here.

– Finally, a negative review of “The Greek Seaman” prompts an EPIC meltdown from Jacqueline Howett, the novel’s author. An example of an Author Behaving Badly so unbelievably badly, this ended up making the rounds all over the Internet. If you haven’t read this, enjoy. If you haven’t read this one in a while, take a read and remember Howett’s epic fail.

I can’t help but shake my head when I read these examples of Authors Behaving Badly. Reading these meltdowns closely, you can see how deeply the insecurities run through them. I mean, if you’re spending hours concocting fantasties about exacting revenge against readers who’ve dared to post bad reviews, or clashing with readers on GoodReads or Amazon or any other forum, then why are you really writing?

Bad reviews are inevitable. Remember that. So stop being so insecure about bad reviews.