Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Stickers and Stars: On Book Reviews

Figure 1. Dean Winchester wants to give you his star. And maybe his sticker, too.

So, no kidding - reading reviews is hard for authors. Not a shock. I was thinking about it, though; how often we are told to disregard reviews, while living in a world that rewards us for achieving the star review, the sticker award.

I wrote about it here and then I tweeted about it with this hashtag: #StickersAndStars

I don't know if this is viewed as a kind of circle jerk for authors or a type of rallying cry for writers who are feeling uncertain about their abilities. And I actually don't care.

I think it's important for us to identify when we are at the top of our game. 

This isn't easy for me. I'm kind of the queen of negative self-talk. And part of that is defensive and necessary. I need to be ready to toss and trash certain bits of my writing in order for the whole balloon to float.

But part of it is just in league with the devils of my lesser nature. The ones who are pretty sure I'm a total idiot and a poser, that chide me for typos and bad grammar and idiotic continuity errors and for losing my way in long drafts that never end.

I like the idea of being my biggest fan. I mean, why the fuck not? No one else seems to be crying out for the job.

I like the idea of giving myself stickers and stars for parts of my books that may not seem all that involved, but maybe they were a pain in the ass to write or edit. Or maybe they came out beautiful on the first try and I feel like that's as close to magic as I'll get. Either way, I don't say this #StickersAndStars stuff because I'm good at it.

It's because I suck at it, and I just need fewer sucky days where I'm sure I'm sucky. And probably you do, too? (Say yes; don't leave me alone out here feeling sucky by myself).

Tell me your #StickersAndStars achievements in the comments, or put them up on Twitter. Or just privately think them to yourself, and smile over your writing with the knowledge that if you pulled off some good prose once, you can certainly do it again.

Carrie is the the author of Perfectly Good White Boy and Sex & Violence, published by Carolrhoda LAB.She's half Armenian and half Norwegian and is a former high school Spanish instructor. Carrie's writing has appeared in theStarTribune, Brain, Child Magazine, Calyx, and other web and print publications. She teaches teenagers about writing at The Loft Literary Center Center in Minneapolis. She lives with her husband and daughter and dog in a suburb of Minneapolis and does not have any notable hobbies or super exciting interests, really. She likes coconut popsicles, Norman Reedus, books, thrift stores, crocheting, and country music. Carrie is represented by the very excellent Michael Bouret atDGLM.

Where to find Carrie: TwitterTumblrGoodreadsWebsite

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