January 20th, 2016

editing

Thoughts on Writing #49: Leave Reviewers Alone.

Welcome to the forty-ninth essay in my fifty-essay series on the art, craft, business, and occasional weirdness that is writing. All fifty of the essays in this series are based around my original fifty thoughts on writing, which means I only have two more essays to go. Almost there! Our thought for today:

Thoughts on Writing #49: Leave Reviewers Alone.

And now, because context is king, our expanded thought:

Try not to argue with reviewers in public places. It makes you look petty and it makes them feel attacked, and that's going to start a vicious spiral leading all the way down into the deepest, darkest depths of Hell. Feel free to whine at your friends if that makes you feel better, but don't make public scenes, and don't make huffy comments where other people are going to find them. Also, if everyone who's known to be a friend of yours starts attacking the reviewer? People are maybe gonna catch on. Play nice.

This one isn't very complicated on the surface: reviews are for readers. Now, most of us are readers. Sometimes, reviews are for us. When are the reviews not for us? When they're reviews of our books, or of books written by our friends. When those reviews come to the party, we're not invited. And sure, it can seem like we're invited, especially when those reviews are posted publicly on the internet; after all, it wouldn't be public if everyone wasn't allowed to comment, right?

Wrong. Today we're going to be talking about reviews, why they're not for us, and why you don't want to know what happens when you engage.

Ready? Good. Let's begin.

Collapse )