Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reviews

I've been writing for long enough now that reviews don't have that big an effect on me. Oh, sure, I like seeing a good review, but I also like seeing more critical reviews (as long as they are insightful rather than simply mean-spirited or negative). Here are two reviews of short stories of mine that are available on AnthologyBuilder.com. I agree with both of them to varying degrees, actually, although I agree less with the review of 'Eschersketch' than the review of 'Tyche's World.'

Review of 'Tyche's World' here: http://anthologybuilder.com/blog/?p=292

Review of 'Eschersketch' here: http://anthobuilder.livejournal.com/53216.html

I've known writers who get all offended and up-in-arms over bad reviews (or rejections, for that matter...but that's for another post). I don't see the point. Nobody in the history of literature has ever written anything that everyone likes! My very first short story sale was reviewed as "embarrassing" because it was so bad. Obviously, the editor liked it well enough to buy it, but the reviewer disagreed.

A writer -- any artist, really -- has to be honest with himself (or herself) when it comes to their output. Despair can be part of the deal, especially when the artist is young and dreaming of grandeur but not quite achieving it.

As an artist you ultimately have only one person to please: yourself. If you like what you're doing enough to keep doing it, you come to realize that critiques and criticisms are merely tools you can use to continue to develop your art.

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