So anyways, it’s Wednesday- and that means a writing post…or a post about writing…or about something that I am writing…well, you get the idea.
I’m also conscious, though, that I signed up earlier this month with Agent Mystery Case to write about something that I wouldn’t normally write about- something that confronted me, exposed me, and scared me…to blog like there was no one reading.
So here it is…deep breath…I don’t read my reviews…and yes, I’m aware of just how pretentious and Kardashian that sounds.
I am, of course, talking about the reviews for Baby It’s You. I know that there are some out there- apparently on the Aussie Amazon site, on Goodreads, and one on Amazon.com…but aside from the first one left by Debbish, I haven’t read them. I’m grateful for them- immensely so…I just haven’t read them.
How do I know that they’re there? My friends have told me. They’ve also told me that they’re good. I love that people have taken the time to read my book and write something nice about it. I like that people have told me that.
So why haven’t I looked? Because I’m scared that I might accidentally read one that’s not so good…or downright bad.
My skin, you see, is paper thin- and yes, I’m aware that in the game I’ve chosen to be in, that’s not a good thing. I’m the type of person who could read 125 reviews and dwell only on the one that said something like ‘chick lit is crap’ … or perhaps even ‘why isn’t there anything in here about my Pluto transit…and you call yourself an astrologer?’
I’m the same in the partition. I’ll work my arse off on a presentation to get everything just right- making sure that every box is ticked, every i tittled (that was on my omgfactoftheday calendar as a fancy pants word for dotting i’s) every previous piece of feedback is incorporated. Then, when a new box is created to be ticked, a new i needing tittled, I’ll beat myself up for not anticipating it.
I know that the way I feel is not rational. I know that not everyone will have the same sense of humour, like the same books, the same movies or the same TV shows as I do. I know that what I find likeable (or amusing) in a friend, in a character, in an attitude, in a situation could be the opposite for someone else. I know that people will read into things what they think they should. I know that some people are never pleased, and others are pleased only when they are identifying faults. I get that.
The number of times I call blog posts back for editing- just in case someone reads something the wrong way is incredible. I think I edit 90% of the words that come out of my mouth and my keyboard. I allow the remaining 10% to keep me awake at night. Even though I’m writing this as if no one is reading it, I’ll bet that I re-read it and edit it at least three times before I hit publish.
So I don’t read reviews- in case no one has left one, and in case I don’t like what I see.
I do, however, leave reviews- if I’ve enjoyed a book, a restaurant, a hotel. If I have a problem, I address it first with the restaurant or hotel before going to town on Trip Advisor.
As for books? I’ll leave stars on Goodreads for those I’ve enjoyed, and nothing at all if I didn’t. Much of the time if I don’t like a book, it’s because I don’t like the genre- and to review on that basis isn’t fair. If it wasn’t my cup of tea, why should I leave something soul destroying for the author?
It’s like the supernatural buff who complains that there were no zombies in the literary offering. It’s like the couple who love French fine dining who leave a scathing review for the local Thai: ‘the food was too spicy and the service wasn’t what we’re used to.’ Or maybe the honeymooners who chose a family friendly resort during the school holidays: ‘it was impossible to get any privacy, and there were too many noisy children in the pool and at the buffet.’
Also, I’m not great at reviewing. I either enjoyed it or I didn’t. I generally don’t know why I did or I didn’t (unless I’m reading outside my genre). It’s why I enjoy reading balanced, well thought out, intelligent reviews by people who do know why they did or didn’t enjoy something. Debbish, I’m looking at you.
So there you have it. I’ve bared my soul…as if no one was reading…