One of the first pieces of advice every newbie writer gets clobbered over the head with is "Develop a tough skin and suck it up, cry baby." Which I heartily echo because I really can't imagine a more ego bruising occupation other than maybe a sumo wrestler. Think about it. How would you feel about yourself if you had to wrestle in a thong with all your fat jiggling in public?
Because of all the negativity a writer faces, I purposely choose to write book reviews that highlight the good in a novel. I'm also very discriminating about what covers I crack open, so that helps me avoid the need to write a this-book-stinks-and-the-author-should-take-up-knitting kind of review. But there are other reasons as well. . .
No matter how tough a writer is, they still have feelings. I don't want to be the one who stomps on them with spikey-cleated shoes, leaving little bloody holes in their soul.
My bad review might obliterate the sales of a particular book, sales that maybe that author needs for food and clothing or possibly personal hygiene products. Far be it from me to deprive a fellow writer of deodorant no matter how smelly the writing.
I might be shooting myself in the foot by writing a dismal review of another story. Why? Because that author is going to have some fans even if their prose happens to set my teeth on edge. Those fans will read my review and remember my name...as in "Dang! I'm never going to read that crabby writer's stuff because obviously she doesn't appreciate good writing."
I'd rather spread encouragement and happy-happy vibes than negativity. The world is bleak enough without me painting wide swaths of black color all around the literary neighborhood.
All that being said, I do point out when a book's plot falters or a character is predictable, so I don't exactly earn a Pollyanna badge either. Want to know what I'm reading and what I think about it? Check out my reviews on Goodreads. You might be surprised at my sometimes back-handed positive reviews.
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me
two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the
latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and
Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti
phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?