Bravery

There are a lot of books that I don’t like. Some are widely popular, others not so much. No matter whether I like the book or not, I always admire anyone who is willing to put their work out in the world. It’s brave, especially nowadays because there are are so many different places that your work might get reviewed (good reads, amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and all those blogs out there) plus if you’re getting published the traditional route there are going to be critiques/reviews by magazine and newspaper contributors. I bring this up because I was reading Goodreads recently and there were a couple not-so-good reviews that were just plan rude, too. Yes, I feel gypped if I bought a book and invested the time to read it but am I going to go on a rant about it on a review? No. I’ll just say why I didn’t like it and move on.

Sometimes that bravery is premature, there are a fair number of e-books that could have used one or two more edits and revisions, but even then it’s brave. Even when I come across those, I’ll mention that it could have done better with another revision, but there’s no point in being rude.

I think about what it’s going to be like when my book finally sees the light of day (well, hopefully) and I get nervous. What if it flops? I’ll be doomed and never write again! What if it’s a success? Thank goodness, I can keep writing! What if it’s somewhere in between? What if everyone hates it? What if this and what if that? But at the same time, it’s a good nervousness. It energizes me to do more.

The same can’t be said for TV shows or movies. I mean, sure, it could but I wouldn’t. When it comes to writing a book it’s almost exclusively up to the writer — if it fails, it’s all on her. A literary agent and editor might have some say but in the end it’s up to the writer. With TV shows and movies, there’s usually a couple screen writers, a director, producers, actors, and at least a dozen other people that have a say in it. So if it flops, it flops for all of them, and they can usually pick themselves up and move along. It’s brave for an actor to take the stage, but unless they also wrote the play/movie then they are redeemable. Maybe their acting is decent or even stellar but the movie/play is just horribly plotted. The actor will get a pass, it happens all the time.

For a writer…? It’s a great deal harder to recover from a flop. Hence, it’s braver for a writer. Perhaps I’m a bit bias (well, probably a bit more than just a bit). But I can’t be the only one that thinks like this, right? Do you respect the bravery of publishing a book and even if you don’t like it, when you review you stay civil? I mean, really, what good comes from a rude review? A one star is a one star, regardless if tear apart the author or not.

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