Monday, September 27, 2010

Only Time Will Tell if I Am Right or I Am Wrong

As a person who usually doesn't put a whole lot of stock in reviews for things like movies and records, I am much more wishy-washy when it comes to reviews of my own work. I tend to ignore the bad ones and tout the good ones. I'm sure I'm not alone in that, as most people who receive negative feedback about their work aren't in a big hurry to tell everyone about it. I've been trying to take reviews for what they are, one person's opinion and nothing more. But, that isn't always so easy.

I think this is especially true when it comes to the inexact science of writing what turns people on. What works for some and gets them all hot and bothered, doesn't work for others. Like MC Esher's print that is at the top of this post, you can either see the angels first or the demons. When you read a story, do you focus on the good or the bad? Everyone is different, and everyone sees something different when they read a story. That all sounds very philosophical, doesn't it? But, I must admit, I haven't had much success when it comes to maintaining this Zen-like attitude about reviews.

In the span of two weeks, I got one great and one not so great review of my novella, White Out. The not so good one came first. It was hard for me not to be a little angry about a review of my work that was, at least in my estimation, a little nit picky. (Even now, I'm hesitant to write those words as I know that the reviewer was just saying what he thought.) I tried not to let the critique bother me, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't get under my skin a bit. I tried to let it go, but every once in a while, a little pin prick of anger would pop up when I thought about it.

Then, the good review came out. And, when I read it, I couldn't help but laugh. The very thing that the first reviewer saw as a fault in the story, the second reviewer LOVED!! The irony of that moment made me smile almost as much as the nice review did and I truly appreciated the kind words about my story. It also perfectly illustrates my point about reviews in general.

So, who's right? Who's wrong? Of course, I'd like to say that the good review is absolutely right and the other one is 100% wrong. But, the truth is most likely somewhere in the middle. My reactions to reviews are still a work in progress but I'd like to think I'm getting to a better place about it all. At least, I am at this moment.

If you are interested in reading the reviews you can go here and here and decide for yourself. I thank them both for their input and the time they took to read and review my book. There. That was a little bit more Zen, wasn't it?

My Man Candy this week is celebrating the joys of the side bottom. How I love it so . . .


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