I Apologize For This Bad Review

Taking it with grace. We've all done it.
This is how I believe lots of people take bad reviews. Head held high until they get somewhere private, then they either set things on fire with their eye lasers or cry themselves to sleep.

Earlier this afternoon, Zen and I were reading a book. At the moment it shall remain a nameless book, and I will later explain why. Now, this book is awful. It is terrible and horrible and boring and it’s more effective at putting me to sleep than heavy doses of melatonin. It’s redundant, pointless seems to exist for no other purpose than to make our lives miserable. The only reason we’re continuing to read this thing is because we have to finish the things we start. Zen and I must console each other before we start reading, telling each other that everything will be okay, that it will be over soon, realizing that even each other’s company isn’t enough to prevent either of us from sinking into despair.

And I’m never going to tell anyone what that book is. Not in public, anyway.

Oh, I wanted to rant about it. I wanted to kick and scream. I wanted to tell everyone just how bad this was. But then I realized that, as a writer myself, I’d absolutely hate to come across something like that myself. Respectful reviews, even if they’re bad, are fine if they provide constructive criticism and all that. But pure negativity can’t feel good at all.

Ever since I really started putting my work out there, I’ve noticed that I’ve restrained myself a lot more from being publicly negative about people’s work regardless of the medium. Even if you’re a best-selling author who’s making millions, I can’t imagine that harsh criticisms like that just roll off. You become better at not letting those negative people dissuade you from continuing your craft, but even at the height of confidence it’s still difficult, I would imagine. Heck, the only problems I have to deal with are not enough people even realizing my books exist. Nothing really negative, and I still have a hard enough time motivating myself.

Being an artist of any kind requires a lot of discipline, effort and bravery, and I think that should be respected. I know that some stuff just isn’t going to click with you, and that sometimes you may feel like you want to cry or ask the world why something like this was allowed to be created. But on the other side of whatever you’re dealing with is an artist who probably spent a huge amount of time doing something they love, forcing their way past their fear of negative reviews and backlash to release it into the public eye. And I feel that’s deserving of the respect that civility can bring. If I ever have something negative to say about something specific, I’ll always try to do it respectfully. I may still fail on occasion, but I try.

What do you think? Do you think that if something is out there it’s fair game for whatever comes its way, or do you try to tone down your criticisms?


11 thoughts on “I Apologize For This Bad Review

    1. Actually not! I haven’t touched that, and I don’t think I will. >.> I was able to get through Twilight, but I think that was enough.

      Aaaaaand NaNo sucked, plain and simple. I think I maybe got a fourth of the way through. It was just a bad month overall, haha. Maybe next year! But I did manage to get some planning and ideas ready, so it wasn’t a total loss.

  1. I’m not always perfectly restrained, but I try.

    I think of books like Twilight or *shudder* 50 Shades of Grey, and I just wish and hope that my books don’t end up being taken the way they are, but I know a lot of people have negative things to say about those, and they are easy to twist around, and I hope my books don’t end up so twistable or mediocre…

    But I’m also the kind of person who wants to express myself. If I don’t like something, I feel like it needs to be said. But I do at least try to be constructive about it… I might even learn more about my own sensibilities in the process.

    1. I think that’s a good thing, and of course if you aren’t leaving a professional review or talking to the author you might have a bit more leeway since they probably won’t see everything ever posted about their stuff. And I sort of feel that if you’re getting into the world of art, you need a thick skin.

      1. 😀 yeah, at least a bit of one. You kind of need to brave. Personally, I write first and worry later. It remains to be seen how I’ll be when everything’s all written and figured out…

  2. I think balanced criticism can go where it needs to, no matter how critical it is. Directly attacking someone personally because of something they created, though liberating to the attacker rarely benefits the artist as much as honestly telling them why you think their work is unacceptable…

    1. Yeah, I would never ever think about going after someone personally or directly. When I wrote this I was thinking about random social networks or reviews, places that the author might not even see, but that are public anyway.

  3. You know how I feel about this book. >.>; Readers deserve to know it’s not as great as everyone’s making it to be! We the minority need to express ourselves. D=

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