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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Readers Are All the Rage!


All of us creative types know that when we  . . . well, when we create for the lack of a better word (way to be creative there, SK), we must do it for ourselves first and foremost. As writers we have to listen to our hearts. Feed our passion. Pour our most insane and intimate thoughts on paper. And most importantly tell the stories we have buried inside while keeping it real, real for us and only us.
Right?

Right!

But also wrong.

Because dammit, apparently readers are all the rage. 

And apparently we have to tell OUR stories the way our readers will accept it. And apparently there are many shoulds and shouldn'ts when it comes to this. They are the driving force behind our work, after all. If we're not writing for our work to be read, then what are we doing? Sure. We do it for us. How sweet. But not really. We do it for them . . . our lovely readers. 

Here's my problem and reminder all in one: 
there's a difference in writing for readers & in writing for reviewers. 

Often we get lost in thinking of the critiques. Of what has already been done. Of what reviewers will say. Of the ratings they will give that part of us we decided to share but chopped up so they would give us a favorable amount of stars. Sometimes those "reviewers" don't exactly care if this is the way your darling soul felt the story went down when it was pouring out your bleeding veins. Nope. If they can't relate, then you suck. And we'd like to think, "well, what do you know? Tell your own story your way if you want." If only it was that easy . . . because, did you know? Reviewers are also all the rage in our world, so we have to play nice.


Sure, technically readers and reviewers are one and the same. 

But its the way we approach our writing when thinking of them that matters. You know, if you don't focus on just how you want to tell your story for you. Let's be honest, they're at the back of our minds when writing one way or another. We have to just remember that our readers will read and feel our stories if we write it and convey it that way. We have to not get lost in the "but it must be completely and absolutely unique" aspect of it, because we need them to relate after all and sometimes the overthinking is what causes disconnects. We have to remember that even on a given day we ourselves hate and love our work, so we just have to keep our fingers crossed we didn't catch them on a bad day (bribery might work here). 

We also have to remember that most readers do not leave reviews. And the ones who do? It's always a matter of preference, if they like or don't like something . . . well, they're right. We're no better off if we try to explain why they should love or accept a part of our work just like they're no better if they try to tell us how to write our stories. But they can like and dislike parts of our work, that's why we write them. For them to feel something. So . . . readers are all the rage. But if you take pride in your work and accept that your stories are yours but share them anyway, it will all be fine. Because did you know?


For readers, authors are all the rage.
Go rage it up. No pressure.



***PS. I'm not having reviews issues of any kind. It's just a general thought on how we sometimes write while having readers' reactions in mind. :) ***

24 comments:

  1. And it's always subjective. Bummer, huh?

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    1. Well, its the same for the stuff we like so I guess fair is far :)

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  2. Replies
    1. LOL I haven't been reading or receiving reviews . . . this wasn't exactly about me getting reviews of any kind, it was *supposed* to be more directed toward us blocking ourselves when writing and "thinking" about future readers of our work. Clearly epic fail on how my message came across . . . and I call myself a writer? o_O

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    2. I'm sorry I misunderstood. It's me--not you.

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    3. "It's me--not you."
      You're not breaking up with me, are you?
      I totally reject that break up if its so! :)

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  3. I laughed out loud at Janie's comment above. That pretty much sums it up! This stuff will drive you crazy if you let it. There's nothing you can do about a book once it's out there, so all you can do is just focus on writing the next one. It's all just opinion...we all have our personal tastes with books, movies, music, and TV shows. What I love, someone else will hate and vice versa. It's hard not to take it personally, though...so, as Janie said: stop reading reviews!

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    1. Janie is hilarious ;)
      Though, it wasn't about me reading or getting reviews. Just as I said up there, it was supposed to be geared of how we sometimes write with readers in mind. Ah well. Maybe you guys should learn to read my mind it would help me explain things better LOL

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  4. If a book connects with readers and they love it, then it doesn't matter if all the reviewers don't like it. (Like the Twilight books.)

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  5. Seems like writing can be a constant search for vindication... sales-wise, critically, whatever...

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  6. I'm trying to think of a good metaphor, but I can't really find one, aside from: writing is like throwing a mixed batch of cooked/uncooked spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks. I think making ourselves happy is the only constant, the only guarantee. And if our book "sticks" and makes some readers happy, too, well that's great! And if it crumbles for other people, well, that's life!

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  7. I find I'm always writing with someone else in mind: readers/my agent/potential editors/reviewers...def the number one thing that holds me back (as if I needed another reason to procrastinate!) :)

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  8. I think I write my first draft for myself, and then when I edit, I start to think of potential readers and what they will think of this line or this scene or this phrase. I guess it's hard NOT to do that! :) This was a great post, S.K.!

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  9. I like the line about no matter what reviewers are right. It is very true. Because all a review is, is an opinion. I think mostly it is a matter if getting skill up so that you are able to tell the story you wish to tell as a writer. For me I don't think about readers of any kind when I write. That comes with revisions and even then not much...maybe I am doing this wrong lol. O guess I figure that a reader of my books that loves them will be a person that thinks like me.

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  10. So SK, do you read the Kinetic reviews?

    With regard to our stories, we cannot please everybody...that's a fact...different strokes for different folks etc. etc. etc.

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  11. I cracked up at Janie's comment LOL.
    Sometimes I miss how excited I was when I was first writing Polar Night and really had no thoughts about publication or anything that goes with it, I was just having fun writing the story. Now I think about reviews, readers, marketing, sales (or lack thereof, LOL), etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm still thrilled to have my books out in the world, but sometimes all the other things that come with publishing really become draining.

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  12. =) It's so interesting that the same book someone totally love, another person can call devil spawn. You're totally right about catching people in the right mood too. Whew! There comes a point where you do just ignore reviews and keep writing. Of course, receiving reviews definitely makes you a much more considerate reviewer.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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  13. I actually look forward to our books' first one-star reviews, because after that sales go up. It shows that it's a real book being reviewed by real people and not just a book where 10-20 of their friends all blindly gave it 5 star reviews. Plus, we get some killer bad reviews. I don't hate them - I embrace them. Like the clueless old woman who said our zombie book should be banned because it was written by a perverted serial killer. You can't buy this kind of press.

    Minus five stars!"

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  14. Hello there.
    Just making a short pit stop from the A-Z Road Trip!

    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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  15. It's hard to keep those influences out when you're writing, isn't it? I have to ban social media for a while and go deep into the writing cave!

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  16. ARG! With a new book being released today I dread the reviews. Although, it's part of the business. Must put on my armor!

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  17. Readers certainly are all the rage. I consider readers before I begin a new story, wondering if my current readers will enjoy it and if I'd get new readers from it. But I really do write for myself. At least the first draft.

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  18. I found myself doubting the direction of my current novel because of a small comment within an overall positive review . . . yikes. Reviews must be read with care or not at all, or after a dose of super encouragement.
    Go, write, enjoy!

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