Someone asked me this week why my Goodreads account didn’t have any negative book reviews of other authors. She stated that she didn’t believe that it was possible that I liked everything I read.
She’s right. I don’t. I read a lot. I am one of those people who starts having a low grade anxiety attacks unless I am surrounded at all times by reading material. Given the sheer volume of stuff I read of course I come across things I don’t like. However I don’t feel the need to share that with the larger world.
This is for two reasons:
1) Writing a book is hard. Not like working in a sub-standard coal mine with no safety features or a chicken processing plant kind of hard, but not easy either. I’m not sure if it takes bravery and commitment to finish an entire novel or simply being on the border of insane, but either way it can be a hard slog. Putting your words out for people to see requires an element of bravery. At the core writing is about having a story that you feel compelled to share. If someone took the time and energy to do that I appreciate that effort even if I don’t appreciate the outcome. I won’t write a nice review just to be kind, but I will use my grandma’s advice that if you don’t have anything nice to say maybe you should just shut up.
There are individuals who write great reviews. They put a lot of thought and effort into detailing what is working for a book or not. I don’t have the time to do that so simply saying “I think this book sucked sweaty donkey balls” or even the more bland and somehow more cutting “I just didn’t find this book interesting enough to finish” doesn’t really add anything to the discussion. It doesn’t help the writer and I’m not sure it helps other readers. If I’m honest my tastes are pretty weird. Once I didn’t like a book simply because the main character had the same name as a guy who once broke the heart of a close friend and therefore every time I read his name I thought “you douche-bag” and that was getting in the way of the plot. I think it would be asking a lot to request that authors run the names of their characters past me for approval.
2) Spreading the Joy. There are a lot of books that I love. Books I want other people to get excited about too. For me I would rather spend my time sharing that with others versus telling them what I didn’t like. Is that overly perky? Maybe. I do know there’s a lot of negativity in the world and I don’t feel compelled to add to it.
People like a range of things. Sometimes I think people should like the same books I do and I am at a loss as to why they would spend their time on a book ghost written for a vapid celebrity when I could list ten books that are lightyears better without even thinking hard. But it’s not up to me to vet everyone else’s tastes. They read what they want. I’m pretty sure a review from me isn’t going to change that. I’d rather spend my energy telling you about books I think are worthwhile.
I was asked if I get angry at negative reviews of my own books. Not really. That’s not to be confused with liking it. It hurts when someone says something you worked hard on is a waste of paper. I have to fight the urge to explain why they’re wrong and why they should give me and my books another chance. But be honest- is there anything more pathetic than someone begging for love and affection from someone else who clearly isn’t feeling it? You have to walk away. People are entitled to their opinion. Maybe I’ll learn something from it. Maybe I’ll ignore it. Either way I know I have to keep writing. That’s what I do.
Judith’s new YA, My Soon To Be Sex-Life is now available. I was offered a chance to read an early version, but due to deadlines I couldn’t get the chance. Now that it is out in the world I plan to settle into a patio chair and enjoy.
Judith has some giveaways and book trailers so be sure to check it all out on her blog
It all started very simply. We wanted to paint the trim on our house. Spruce the place up a bit. When they power washed the house to prep for painting we discovered the trim around the front window was a bit soft. No problem. We’d just replace the trim.
Then the trim guy pointed out it would be easier to replace the front window. It was one of the original windows to our 1948 house. Fine. A new window it is.
Last Wednesday they came to replace the window. You know it isn’t going to be good when you hear the repair guy say: Sweet Jesus- look at that!
Termites! The biggest nest he’s ever seen (leave it to us to do it big). Turns out the little buggers have pretty much munched and dined their way through the entire front wall of my house. Next thing I know we’re having the front of our house ripped off, both windows now need to be replaced. We need new beams, new insulation, new siding. Oh, and did I mention they’re tearing down the drywall in my dining room? The one I just redecorated this year?
Our house now has a hole to the outside (let’s hear it for it being warm and sunny versus middle of winter!) a fine layer of dust on everything, and I keep swatting my arms and legs certain I felt something crawling on me.
DH had the best attitude. He pointed out it’s just stuff. Stuff that can be fixed. We’re both fine. The dog is fine. No, it isn’t how we’d like to spend that money, but that is what emergency funds are for- emergencies.
I am learning to write with power saws going and reminding myself that all of this may end up in a book someday. I wonder if that makes the repairs tax deductible?
I am attempting to plot out my next book. This involves a lot of cursing, followed by moments of euphoria and then despair when I realize what I thought would work, doesn’t.
It’s Canada Day tomorrow. As a shiny new Canadian I feel honour bound to say this is pretty awesome country. I feel lucky they’re letting me stay.
We’ll be mixing the traditional (BBQ) with the non-traditional (working on edits.) There will be good friends and good times. To get you in the mood here are some fun facts about Canada you might not have known:
Canada is the second largest country in the world.
Canadians can deduct a number of things from their tax software, but I bet you didn’t know that dog food is tax-deductible in Canada.
The average life expectancy at birth is 81.16 years – the sixth highest in the world.
Canada’s literacy rate is over 99%.
Canadian inventions include the game Trivial Pursuit (Scott Abbot and Chris Haney), the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell), basketball (James Naismeth) and the snowmobile (Joseph-Armand Bombardier).
The CN Tower in Toronto was the world’s tallest free standing structure until 2007.
The US buys more oil from Canada than any other country.
Thirty two percent of Canadians are very happy, 55% are quite happy
Count me in the very happy category.
DH and I ran away last week to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I think we’re both pretty impressed that the other person has put up with us for this long. We went off to the wine country where we tried lots of wine, sat in the sun, napped and ate entirely too much good food. It was a fabulous time all around.
Now this week it is back to work. Edits are calling my name….
Need some summer reading? Fire up your e-reader. Amazon has chosen THE ALMOST TRUTH as the Kindle Book of the Day. This means it is a mere $1.99.
Less than a cup of coffee. Less than parking (depending where you live.) Less than a fast food meal AND more satisfying.