I fear criticism. I take even the mildest criticisms very personally and let them hurt and fester way out of proportion to the actual purpose, meaning, or intent. For instance: people post book reviews when it is clear they did not read the book. I don’t understand it. No matter if it is just stars or the reader of the review sees it for what it is, still it takes down my average. And why do they do that out of a clear blue sky? Well, I might as well ask why a random stranger drags his car keys through the paint on a random car. Some thing is just wrong in the head. And since there are now more people on the world, we see more of these strange people wreaking their hurt because of the way it makes the inside of their head feel.
I mentioned to someone that I am not a good reviewer. I don’t like to hurt feelings. That is all I remember hearing in my childhood. “Her feelings are hurt.” I guess it is good they acknowledged I had them even as they blithely rode roughshod over them. If I promised it, I will pick out a good thing about the book and emphasize it and give four rather than five stars. (There should be about ten stars. I can never make a choice.)But on a forum where a person asked for a critique of a preliminary excerpt, I remarked how good they were at telling a story even though I was not the intended audience. I commented that there were a few minor syntax problems, but I wasn’t there for an edit. The asker went all postal about how they were an English teacher and how I could shove my syntax errors. Well, the person did not put it exactly that way. I put a negative review on Amazon for a book about Jesus that was some preposterous metaphysical theory and was a grammar disaster. I felt so bad about it I went back and took it down. The person got to say what they wanted to say, and anyone should get a pat on the back for that, much less having the courage to display it to the whole world.
Then there are the times I have asked specific people about specific matters in relation to one of my books. When they said something was wrong and I objectively pointed to my research backing up my statements they got all hostile and said a couple of insulting things. This was a person who said nothing about imbalances or inconsistencies in my writing or story or method. Just facts the person homed in on. I thanked that person for their brilliant ideas and support and quietly rolled up my rug and folded my tent. The very best thing anyone said about anything I wrote was “crazy good read” and I cannot get over it. I always feel like I feel a certain way about something but someone doesn’t get it. When I am surprised at the way someone reacts to something — for example, in the face of disaster a person commented to the person experiencing the disaster that God didn’t give you more than you could handle and the person took it negatively and construed that the person was trying to explain to her that God wanted her to have the disaster because otherwise she would not have been able to cope with the outcome. Like the disasteree had the mind set that the commiseration offerer was saying, “Better the plane crashes carrying the guy you might meet and marry in twenty years cuz you might get a divorce if the plane doesn’t crash. So here, God says, have a plane crash on me.” So it is like a very brilliant light in the wilderness that I feel someone read my words and got what I was saying.
I write what a learned person said was “third person omniscient”. Yet I get remarks about my POV changing. I can just see the person shaking their head over something I wrote and I feel like I wish I could have been there to hold their hand so they could fully enjoy the mastery of my story telling. Seriously. Don’t think I am kidding.
I get sad. A person is blogging on all the steps to publication. The person put up an excerpt of the finished product. POV changes? Yeow. Run on sentences. Wrong word used for meaning. Awful. Commas joining two sentences together when the first part needed a question mark. I couldn’t stand it. And the person will get an editor and publish on Harlequin and buy their daughter an Arabian thoroughbred. I made sixty dollars last month.Have you read any of my excerpts? Not asking you too. If you were going to, you would have done so by now. I put “Sex in the Shower”, a part of one chapter in one book, a true excerpt. One person said it was beautiful erotica. Not. Nice to hear, but it is just kind of a sexy, light hearted event. One person said they couldn’t enjoy it as anything but a how-to list since I didn’t paint my characters deeply enough for her. (Excerpt) Another person said they felt sorry for me if I thought that was racy. (Well, I talked about him elsewhere.) Sex in the Shower has had more hits than anything I ever posted and that was it for written remarks I won’t tell you the site I posted it to cuz I love it and they are cracker jack with commenting and always asking for more.
I just don’t get it. And I feel very sad that I know I will never get it, never understand the different ways people see things, because I feel like I should. But I accept my own argument that it is all about me, and let the twisted little suckers go find their own way. That, as far as I am concerned, the way I see things is right, and I accept that is so, even knowing it may be right ONLY for me and as far as the general population is concerned, I am the twisted little sucker wandering in the wilderness.
I know I am doing something right because one of my older books has a spot in an algorithm somewhere and her activities have huge repercussions. The other books, tiny repercussions. So I hold on to the hope that this next one will do it. I am hopeful about this Smashwords
series highlighting thing they just invented, and this entire book, which is EXACTLY like all the others, has been written because I have a great title. Well, we will see. I am not on the ropes yet.So fie on thee that has read not a single Elizabethan historical romance and dares criticize my little sweeties for hopping in the sack with more than one person in her lifetime. I had my day in the sun, and I intend to blind you with that reflection before I die.Actually, this whole post started out because I had another huge spike in my blog stats and I do not know why. I so want to know so I can follow through on it, but whatever. I feel like I am through for the night.
I will generously repost for the day shift, although, I guess for my readers across the sea this is the day shift.Y’all know how much I love you, right? Cuz I do. Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come on back now, real soon.
Illustration attribution: emoticon from colourbox considered by its use on the web as public access.