This is going to be the first post in an ongoing series of musings about the writing process and industry. Formerly, I wasn’t one to put my thoughts onto the internet. In light of my recent attempts to bring a book into the world, I am changing that. Beware: These are organic thoughts that may, at times, be relatively unfiltered. Also, I’m not going to attempt to give these posts all the proper grammar and hoopla some people might expect. Sorry. Anyway.
So, authors are people.
I think sometimes this fact is forgotten. The main place it gets forgotten is in the quagmire know as the “One-star review.” Firstly, let it be known that I’m not against people sharing their opinions. I’m doing it right now. So, my point is not that people should sugar-coat the living hell out of everything. But, as many of you probably know, some people get really, really angry when they don’t like a book. And they go off. I’m sure there is the odd thoughtful one-star review out there. The writer might lay things out and still be respectful. That seems rare. Usually, the old one-star is a heinous, ranting nightmare. Maybe phrases like “It was so bad it made me want to DIE!” aren’t necessary. Maybe? Because you know what? Authors read those things. And they’re people. With feelings.
Sometimes it feels like the people who write such things think the author is out to get them with a terrible book that they hope is a massive waste of time. Newsflash: This is not the case. It’s impossible to make a book that appeals to everyone and that author simply doesn’t know your personal taste. What might be a great character to some is a dried-out husk to someone else. This writing thing is a bit of a gamble sometimes.
So, keep that in mind next time you dislike a book. Keep in mind that behind that book is a real person with thoughts, feelings, and hopes. They thought their book was good and they hoped you would like it. Of course it’s okay if you don’t. You’re a person, too. But there are many, many ways to dislike something and some are definitely more humane and considerate than others. This relates to all things, not just books. Movies, TV shows, clothing brands…none of them are out to get you and all of them are created by humans who might not like to read a long, satirical rant on why you hate their creation. Sometimes it’s okay to simply say: “It had some strengths and some flaws, but overall it just wasn’t my kind of thing.”
Anyway, that’s all I have for today. I don’t expect this to change anything for anyone. People don’t care on the internet. That’s how it is and I have to accept that. This is simply a snippet of my thoughts. More to come on another day.