Reading, Writing & Reviewing

Stock Photo of Children Discovering Reading

I’ve been thinking about writing this for awhile ever since Morgan L. Busse wrote When Reading Loses its Magic back in July of last year, but I just haven’t gotten around to it until this week as I reflected on reviewing, and then I was spurred on to complete this by C. L. Dyck. She is all sorts of loveliness & brilliance, and I am thankful to count her among my writerly friends.  On Monday, she blogged about book reviews and professional courtesy.  So I figured now would be just as good of a time as any to post my thoughts on this subject.

For years I’ve studied how to write a book. I’ve read books, blogs, and magazines, gone to workshops, joined critique groups, hoping to hone my skills to make it the ever elusive publishing land. What I had learned spilled over into my reading and almost destroyed the thrill of the adventure, the joy of connecting with characters, and all the other wonderful reasons why we love to read. All I could see was the rules they broke. Never mind me being a little OCD, personality type A or is it B? I can never keep them straight. So with all that baggage, I could easily miss a good story. Because, unless you’re trying to break into the writing industry, we readers could care less if a writer has used the forbidden adverbs, filter words, etc. My journey has taught me this: I’d rather give up writing than lose my love for reading.

But one thing I do know, as readers our reading tastes vary greatly, and that’s a beautiful thing. That’s why we have a plethora of choices before us. And for the record, as y’all see that I’m a writer, and I’ve got short stories out and about, I would like to echo Ms. Dyck as she says in her post:

So here’s to a genuine cup of coffee and a genuine chat about books. If I ever write something you love, I’d be thrilled to hear about it. But if I ever write something you don’t love, I’ll never turn that feedback away either. I need the barometer of reader taste.

So what say you? Do you write reviews? Why or why not? Do you read them?

Now go have an adventure, read a book! And then write a review. Ha! Or not. 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Reading, Writing & Reviewing

  1. I cringe when I think about the very first book review I did after I became a writer. That poor author! Since then, I’ve learned to turn off my editor, the same way I turn it off when I am writing a rough draft and let my creativity run wild.

    And congrats on your new book!

  2. Kat Heckenbach says:

    Can I put a link in here? I actually wrote a blog post on exactly why I *do* review other books and do so honestly, not just the ones I love-love-love :). http://www.katheckenbach.com/2013/03/why-i-review-ya-fiction.html

  3. J. L. Mbewe says:

    I didn’t think I would find this article again, but I did! As I mentioned on FB, I love to review because its an opportunity for me to share the love of the adventure, otherwise I feel like a pimple screaming to burst. Bad analogy, I know, but it sort of works. Anyway, Michael J. Sullivan had a good point on authors not reviewing & I lean toward his thinking, but then that leaves me wanting to burst from the great adventure. ha! Here it is: http://riyria.blogspot.com/2012/03/on-writing.html

  4. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Book reviews are challenging for me. I do write them but not as a synopsis or analyzing the book. I write what I enjoyed about the book or certain characters I liked. If I don’t care for a book, I don’t review it. Sometimes don’t finish them, so can’t write a review!

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Hey Lynn! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! I think I review like you. I was just thinking there were different types of reviews. I am definitely not the analyzing, picking it apart and dissecting it, but I love to share my love for it, the adventure it took me on. I think my thoughts on this will be evolving as I go. We shall see! 🙂

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