Registration for the retreat is now open.
Check the blog post here for instructions.
Before I started writing, I'd never considered composing a book review. Yeah, that was something my teachers'd had us do a bazillion years ago when I was a kid, but it wasn't anything I'd done as an adult. Then I started reading a lot of book reviews and adding so many books to my to-be-read list that I had to open an account on Goodreads just to keep track of them. And I started doing my own book reviews.
But when you begin to meet people in the writing world and interact with published authors, you realize a few things.
One is that a book you loved isn't loved universally. It might have touched something deep inside you but to another person it's a piece of cliché drivel. *gasp* That book sang to your heart. There must be something wrong with those people who wrote negative reviews.
Or, the book just didn't connect with them. That whole subjectiveness of the reading experience is an eyeopener to you. You think back on the books you thoughtlessly dissed in reviews.
This comes especially close to home when you're published. You now understand just how very much time, effort, and emotion goes into creating a book. You think about the gut punch a negative review was for you. You wonder if anything you've ever said in a review had the same power to slice up that author's heart.
Did you trash someone's artistic baby?
|Original picture via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of library_mistress|
Authors/writers bring an interesting view to the books of others. We're usually part of critique groups, so we're being trained to look for what's wrong, something a regular reader is not. Sometimes it's easy to criticize and to forget to look for what works.
By the same virtue, we're also frequently connected somehow to so many other authors in the writing community. How often do we love a book because we love its author?
What do you think? Review or Not Review? Why?