It's T minus six days before our book hits Amazon (and whatever bookstores have survived). My anxiety level has been higher than usual, which is saying something. I expected to be nothing but proud of having accomplished a project we undertook years ago, but I can't lie; I am more concerned about bad reviews (or worse, no reviews) than I ever thought I would be. When I'm seeing a patient in my office, she might think I'm an idiot. She might even tell the readers of isyourdoctorgoodbadcomeonwhatsthestory.com. But it's unlikely that I'll find my practice pilloried in the New York Times.
Paraphrasing another writer’s lament, it can take somebody five years to write a book, and a reviewer five minutes to crush it. I gotta say, I have a new respect for all artists who put themselves out there. And it made me think of how frequently I have walked out of a movie theatre, smugly pronouncing the film a piece of junk. The writers, actors, directors, along with the literally hundreds of others who worked on the production are dismissed in a moment, and often with relish. "That sucked." "The director should be ashamed." And he probably is. There’s his work for all to see. He has chosen to present it to the public, only to have (some) others discard his work and by extension a part of himself. Worse yet are the individual artists, the painters, musicians and, yes, writers who cannot hide behind their colleagues. (Fortunately we can hide behind one another if the book is panned).