Friday, October 7, 2008
A couple of days ago, I was reading a bunch of writers talking about reviews. They were critical, saying that the reviewers didn't understand some aspects of their writing.
I've not written much, but I think I have a different idea about reviews. In a way, I feel any book I write, once it is published, becomes separate from me in the same way my son became separate once he came of age.
I may care greatly for my son and his family (which I do), and I may do anything I can to help them, but they are separate from me now. I pray for them daily. I have great hopes for them. But they have to live their lives.
That's the way it is with life. My parents are resting peacefully in a small Catholic cemetery now, and one of these days, my own ashes will be scattered. Life will go on.
I see reviews as just like rain and thunderstorms. I can't control them. Whatever they say, they say. I appreciate them because they bring attention to a story I wanted to tell. I may feel some people don't understand the book, but so what. That is their right.
I even acknowledge that there may be what I call exploitative reviews, reviews where people review the book for their own purposes, and those purposes may not be good ones. But I can't do anything about that. I don't control anyone else's writing. I have to trust that those who read the review are smart enough to see what is happening.
So just as the rain falls on the just and the unjust (and the drought comes too, I guess), reviews are written and the world goes on.
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