I have met so many wonderful friends through books. Some are fictional, and some are flesh and bone friends...but all have made a difference in my life in one way or another. We all impact each other's lives. Sometimes it is by something you say that makes me think, and other times it is by a gesture or kindness. And yet other times it may be something that dug deeper, hurt my feelings, or made me sad. Still you made a difference. Through this blog I would like to introduce you to some people who have blessed me with their writing...and I hope you will be blessed as well!

Coffee or Tea?

Friday, April 1, 2011

What makes you want to leave a comment about something you like or hate?

     There has been a lot of talk lately about reviews people leave on commercial sites, so today I would like to ask you what prompts you to forever record your opinion of someone's labor? We are a very opinionated society, and for the most part we usually only voice those thoughts if we are unhappy for some reason. I didn't like the service I received from that vendor, or I hated the food in that restaurant, so lets tell the whole world. We rarely take time to go out of our way to say nice things, even though we should. 

     But what happens when you are talking about writers? These are people who have devoted a HUGE chunk of themselves, their time, and their heart into birthing their creation. For most of the people I know that means dedicating long hours everyday to the keyboard, writing, re-writing, and editing...then submitting it for critique to a group of peers and professionals, then starting the NEW rewrites and edits. Once that part is finished, there is the hard part of writing the synopsis, preparing the necessary presentations for agents and publishers, and all the stuff most people are unaware of, to find someone willing to make a commitment to publish your heart's work. Most writers are always attending conferences to improve their craft, and writing blogs and independent pieces to keep their name out there in the public's mind. We wont even go into the promotion of the book once it is published.

     Finally! It is finished! The book hits the shelves and the book signings begin. People begin to read the intimate results of your labor. You rush to read the reviews...and you either die inside or are encouraged...they like you!

     The real test of your strength is when your readers begin their reviews. I have seen a number of excellent writers fall to pieces over a bad review that was written not to encourage improvement, but to tear down the author to tears! Mean spirited, hateful reviews over things like "it was too preachy" or "I didn't like that she/he wrote....." and "I wouldn't waste my money again!"  Even for free downloads on kindle, people complain. They weren't aware it was a christian book and found it too religious, and that upset them because they weren't believers. But they write in bitterness and sound so angry as they stress that they DIDN'T LIKE THE BOOK! And would never read anything written by this writer again. I even read one review that said a book wasn't realistic...that's because it was a parody! It was meant to be funny. It was written with wildly colorful characters you fell in love with.  Apparently they didn't get it.

     I remember my grandmother always saying, "If you can't say something good..." (Come on, you know it, lets say it together) "DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!" You can leave constructive criticism without being mean or hateful. You don't have to say you loved the book, but you don't have to say you hated the writer. We all have different tastes, so let the next person decide for themselves.

     That said, I will now jump down from by little wooden soap box and go find some April Fools pranks to pull on my children...

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