Saturday, September 07, 2013

Writer Myths: Avoid Bad Reviews

Hi folks, I really love my series of writer myths.  I wrote about a number of writer myths last year and recommend that you give those 4 posts a look. I believe you might find something useful. I'm continuing my series the month. Short and sweet is my motto.

At the end of the day writing is a performance art. Reviews are audience feedback. (OK, I know, not everyone has reviews yet. Hang on, I'll get to that.) Some writers believe all reviews should be avoided. Other just toss the negative ones. They don't want all that negative energy. 


Let me start with disclaimer. Some people are out there slinging stones (I'll cover this down the road), and, of course, that kind of stuff should be avoided, but many reviewers are giving honest commentary that will help you improve your works. I suggest avoiding all reviews will keep you from a very honest and valuable way to improve your work. Writing is about reaching an audience. We want the audience to clap, but if they are not clapping, we need to listen.

Not every performance is stellar. I've read multiple books from single authors. I can attest from experience this is true. Don't overlook author response. It may help you sharpen you work.

Unpublished writers! You can benefit here. I stumbled into one big time helpful practice many years ago. I attended an open read and was at the end of the list of readers. Each participant had five minutes. I found myself fiercely editing my work, during the performance of the other readers. I had believed my work was perfect  when I arrived, but an audience responding to the writing put me on my toes.  "Brilliance" hopped out of me that I had been unable to access. During my reading, I saw the eyes of the listeners light up. I saw the eyes glaze. I saw the need to listen to the audience.

My advice, stop waiting for someday to connect with your audience. Find a way to connect now. It will change your writing life. I am sure.

Thanks for stopping by!  I will be back with more myth busting nest week.

Okay, folks, doodles are back: "Mermaid".

Quote for the week!

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Leo Tolstoy


Mirka Breen said...

Many published writers don't admit to reading reviews, but *we do*

The point of those who admonish not to read them should be modified: don't take reviews as gospel. Neither the bad nor the good. But we do write to communicate, and we recognize thoughtful feedback.

MollyMom103 said...

I appreciate thoughtful feedback so much. It is like finding a treasure.

Thank for dropping by Mirka. :)

Leandra Wallace said...

If I ever do get to the place where I'm published, I couldn't see me never ever looking at any reviews. How could one resist? Crazy 'I hate this book so much I want to stab it' reviews would be bad to read, but the ones that are thoughtful like you said, I could see where you might glean some wisdom from.

Vijaya said...

You did an open mike reading?!!! You are brave! I still remember Peggy reading our work anonymously and how my heart would be in my throat watching reactions. We've come a long way, kiddo.

GranTurismo Driver said...

Nice post, great blog, following :)

Good Luck :)

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Leandra! Keep persisting, and you will find a measure of success. I am sure. I do think any strong emotional reaction is useful. You might be rattling cages. I hope you receive boatloads of happy reviews someday!

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Vijaya, Ah, you know me well. An actress coached me and helped me get more comfortable with mike reading a while back. Peggy's classes, such wonderful memories. And miles to go...:) I hope you are spinning the best stories yet.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi GTD! Thanks dropping by!

Shell Flower said...

It is very refreshing to read a blog post about it being okay to write an honest (even if it's not glowing) review. Lately, it seems like one is a pariah for rating a book 3 stars, which is "liked it" on Goodreads. Even the best novels get 1 star reviews and haters. Life is a bell curve, and reviews will always have those outliers, but the meat in the middle is precious!

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Shell Flower, I think that honest reviews are valuable. I have loved books that have very real flaws. Glad that you connected with the post. :)

Charlie Holmberg said...

"Find a way to connect now." Excellent. :)

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Charlie! I'm glad you found something here that struck you as excellent! Thanks for dropping by.