Friday, September 7, 2012

         Warm fuzzy and cold prickly feelings for a writer.

         I have a habit of getting different people to read whatever I'm working on at the time. I've found for the most part it pays to have three or four people who don't like what you write and one or two who think you're absolutely fabulous tell you how they feel about any of your new work. 
       Now this may is not a balanced approach and you may be asking yourself why would anyone do that? Most people would likely feel an author's best chance to have anything judged fairly would be by those who are in the middle ground where your writing is concerned. There may be some truth to that position of security, I really haven't thought much about having my work judged fairly. I use my method of "How am I doing MOM" as a token of defiance against Cold Prickles.
       Don't know what a Cold Prickly is? Well in the text I'm using the expression, Cold Prickly means those reviewers who delight in being as sharp and biting as they can be in their written assessment of the author, you'll note I didn't say author's work. This is done in hopes of inflicting stinging spasms of  emotional pain on the author and impress other readers with their brisk, nipping wit at the same time. This type of reviewer truly loves to slide an ice cube down the spine of an author, and I believe their only regret is they aren't able to watch the reaction of the author. 
       I've had the privilege of getting to know a number of young folks who have a driving desire to write. They pour their hearts and souls into every word, phrase, sentence or paragraph they write. One of their biggest joys in life is to strive to create a story which will please their readers. For this type of author, writing has that same type of wondrous joy  as that first love or the thrill of a first kiss and will be treasured for a lifetime.  They rejoice each and every time they see their names attached to any printed (in today's world... Digital) page. They feel vindicated with each positive review they receive and each one pushes them to strive even harder on their next work. 
       They are crushed each and every time a Cold Prickly is dropped down their backs. The very instant the Cold Prickly touches their soul...they forget about Warm Fuzzy feelings revived from the positive reviews they earned.
       What is a Warm Fuzzy? It much the same as the day you become engaged, get married, hold your sleeping child in your arms for the first time or any of a thousand memories you'll acquire and treasure for a lifetime. For me....well a Warm Fuzzy is a Royal Straight Flush, a free bottle of Ten High or a warm fall evening and miles to twisting roads.
       Does this mean I'm unaffected by Cold Prickly reviews? Well as a matter of fact, yes it does.                                            You must understand this is a hobby for me...I am not young, have never had a driving desire to write and have never cared what people think of me. But I've talked with a number of young authors who forget the vast number of Warm Fuzzy reviews they've received and are devastated by the one or two Cold Prickly ice cubes from a boring fool or two.
       If you're a writer and fall in that group of young talent I've discussed, try my method of "How am I doing Mom." Think about it for a second and I sure you'll understand. If a reader canned something you wrote before, but gave an honest reason for that one or two star rating.... then you need to follow that reader and be grateful they shared their feelings with you . If you can get them to read your new work and give you a Warm Fuzzy....well think how you'll feel? 
       A Warm Fuzzy from someone who really disliked one of your works, but is pleased with another? Well there is a memory  for your treasure chest.  
      You might ask why I include one or two folks who love everything you write? Well lets say you keep getting Cold Prickly reviews from those who don't like your work...why not add an ego safety valve? Now this can back fire, think how you would feel if those Warm Fuzzy folks threw Cold Prickly review your way. So chose your Warm Fuzzy folks with care, I recommend people who are afraid of you and know you have their address.    

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