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Friday, August 5, 2011

My Gratitude Journal: Readers

PLEASE NOTE: I am running my first-ever contest. To learn more, click on the little blue "Contest" tag at right. Welcome!

It should go without saying, but since I'm not certain, let me say it: Writing is communication. There is no communication without both a sender and a receiver. (This is basic Mass Communications 101; bear with me, please.) That presupposes that a writer must have a reader.

Today I'm issuing my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who read. If you're like me, you read whatever you can get your eyes on: novels, non-fiction tomes, magazine articles, newspapers, poems, short stories, cereal boxes, graffitti splashed on public buses... Everything!

I'm especially grateful for all who read my work, and especially for those who comment on it.

Okay, honesty compels me to mention that I'm not always grateful at the time. There was the one woman who critiqued a recent book of mine, beginning with the warning that her review would include numerous spoilers "so you won't have to read this awful book." Ouch. I wondered what I'd done to her!

There was also the one who undertook to critique a chapter I had posted in an online critique group. She carefully marked every use of the verb "to be" in the first two pages and then wrote that she was "to board" to read further. Uh-huh.

So you caught me. I'm not excited about every review, but even those I wish I hadn't read (the ones that remain with me so I can practically quote them back word for word) are still instructive.

Did I really use a cheesy, contrived ending for that one particular book? I hadn't thought so. Numerous readers who gave it high marks didn't think so, but one reader did. Maybe she wasn't just in a mood. Maybe there's something there I should consider before sending away my next manuscript.

Did I overuse "to be" verbs in my new book? Maybe. Was the write boring? To at least one reader, yes, it was.

Of course I prefer the people who gave my book five stars, who said they LOVED it and couldn't wait to read more of my work. I'm especially fond of the reader who went on Goodreads and proclaimed me her favorite author. Who doesn't want to be loved?

Still every one who took the time and trouble to write something gave me something of value. Today I am grateful for readers, one and all.

1 comment:

  1. I am sure we will all receive some criticism. One reviewer said that she did not like my genre, that the girl married too quickly (they did in those days) and that I had not let enough of the lead character's emotions show- which was true. I took that as constructive and did some work on that. Thankfully, the work was still in editing and I could improve that. She liked the story, however, and praised it more than she critiqued it; she said she had to use her English degree in some way. I do appreciate that kind of critique. Ouch, it must hurt to receive biting commentary. I'm sorry you did. My book is just barely out there, and I probably will, too.


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