Monday, July 9, 2012

Defiance Reviews

It's been quite a while since I posted any kind of personal blog post. Some of that has to do with the fact that my personal life has been in a state of upheaval lately due to two of my kids having back to back serious medical issues. Some of that has to do with the fact that writing the sequel to Defiance nearly broke my brain. But I wanted to take a moment and talk about something that is important to me.

Reviews of Defiance and why I'm not reading them.

First of all, you should know that I wander around in a state of queasy wonder at the thought of so many people being excited to read my book. It's both thrilling and sort of scary. I've always believed that once a book goes out into the world, it becomes the property of those who read it. Defiance is no different. It's DONE. I did the best I could, sent it out into the world, and no matter what anyone says about it now, it's DONE. :) My focus is on the next book (Which may yet kill me. We'll see ...) because that's the story that needs my attention now. Defiance no longer belongs to me. Readers are interacting with the story, living in the world, and forming attachments to my characters. I am completely blown away by that. It's AWESOME.

But as awesome as it is, I choose not to read those opinions. I choose not to read any opinions, good, bad, or indifferent. I have a couple of reasons for this. One, the review isn't for my benefit. The book is out of my hands. Reviews are to give one person's opinion about the story for the benefit of other readers trying to decide if this is a book they'd like to read. There isn't any room in that process for the author of the book to interject her own opinion. Second, I function best with a high level of oblivion. I am determined to worry about only that which I can control. (Book two, I'm looking at YOU.) I love, love, LOVE that readers are passionately discussing Defiance, but I know myself. If I started reading reviews, it would derail my momentum on the next book. I'd worry that I hadn't put in enough X or I'd wandered too far away from Y or wow, someone really really hates Z. I can't do that. I write best in a bubble where nothing but me and the story exist.

I know other authors post about reviews and why they won't read them, and I'm honestly not saying anything new here. But because there are so many of my awesome online peeps reading and commenting about Defiance now, I wanted to respect that and tell you that I am GRATEFUL, and that I hope you understand why I'm choosing not to click on links or interact with your reviews. I hope you enjoy your time within Defiance's pages. In the meantime, I'm going to pull a few kung fu moves on Book 2 and teach it who's boss.

Edited to add: I may not be able to go to your blog and comment on your review, but I try my best to respond to Twitter comments and blog comments. :)

8 comments:

  1. Awww, I totally understand why some authors don't read reviews. Honestly, it's probably a really good idea. Sure, I love when an author comment on my review, especially when they're impressed with it, but I would hate to hurt an author's feelings. Better to ignore them to do something stupid!

    Looking forward to number two!

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    1. Thanks! I would never argue with a review (how can you argue that someone's opinion on a subjective matter is wrong?), but I worry that even the praise might color the way I write the next story. I can't comment on my reviews, but I can respond to blog comments and Twitter comments and that gives me an opportunity to personally connect with my readers. :)

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  2. Totally understandable, C.J.! ^_^ I wondered how you handle it. I've looked at so many different perspectives on reading one's own reviews, trying to decide what would eventually work best for me. Initially, I thought it would be my responsibility to take the criticisms and praises into consideration if I'm to keep improving my craft... But now, I'm starting to think that my critique partners and beta-readers are really the keys to my ongoing growth--not complete and uninvested strangers.

    I, too, "function best with a high level of oblivion." Heck, I have to avoid world news like a Minnesota pothole just to keep from going into a funk. I've turned off half of my facebook friend newsfeeds simply because negativity and/or belligerence will get me off my writing track so easily. I can't imagine how neurotic I'll be when I have feedback I can't help but take personally. >.<

    I hope I can have the good sense to approach it the same way you have once I'm in print. If review-ignorance is bliss, I plan to be ECSTATIC. ;)

    ~Angela Blount

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  3. That completely makes sense, CJ, and congrats on Defiance and on your upcoming work!

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  4. I have this same policy now. I used to read reviews, and it was just too stressful for me. I now avoid them all, both good and bad, and I am much happier. Plus, if you don't read the reviews that you can't comment on them, which is another no-no in my book.

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  5. And you are awesome on Twitter. Excellent way to interact! I don't blame you for not reading reviews. If you don't want anything to sway your focus, good for you. :)

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  6. Good day. I like your blog post. It all looks fantastic

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  7. sorry about your kids. but thanx for your time for the review

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