Hi there, guys and dolls! I may get a little flack for this post, but I have to say what I have to say. Please forgive me if you read yourself in this week’s musings, but then again, if you do and it bothers you, maybe you should consider why.
I love to tell my Santa Lucia tales in my Poppy Cove Mysteries. I have plots and ideas for so many more twists and turns, sometimes I can’t get them out and it becomes a joyful jumble. I also am happy to say that the girls (Andrea and Heather, the two behind my pen name) have a couple of other series they’d like to start plotting as well and if you were following along in last week’s post, you’ll see that they are making arrangements to carve out more writing time in the near future.
Not only writing the stories gives me great joy, but also hearing from readers and fans, from those who get the jist of my take on the fictional world makes me feel on purpose. Those who share in the dream of the town, the place, who understand the escapism and playfulness, the heart of what I am creating and sharing. That is a worth beyond rubies, as far as I am concerned and I treasure the connections. It makes life worth living and all the tough moments of burn out, no words coming, outside demands and criticisms bearable.
The reasons why I write is to connect with others, I have a story to tell and a quiet confidence there are those who want to relate to it. It is so nice to be on the receiving end of the relationship as well. There are so many wonderful books and gifted storytellers out there, I am so glad they share their stories and worlds with me and so many others. What a wonderful system we have created!
There is however, something that has crept up and I feel I must mention it. Writing and reading books should be a pleasure and something that we want to share with others, and it should be done by choice and in our own ways, not by force or demand. I’ve seen reviewers, bloggers, often volunteers who share their views on books because they choose to, mentioning that writers have been very pushy in getting reviews. Some very good bloggers and supporters who are passionate about reading and writing have decided to give up, mentioning that authors push them to put their book on top of everyone else, demanding a review the day after receiving their book, then hassling them every day to give them a “5-star” review, and ungrateful with a 4, or telling them that they didn’t do it right. That’s just pathetic. I’ve also seen some writers be very negative about their readers and fans, putting them down for not leaving reviews, slagging them because they are not responding in the way they would like, taking for granted that someone actually took the time to read your words. Some have also done this very publicly, reaching the very people who can choose to support you and share your work.
It becomes all about the “Stars,” the “Exposure,” the “Ranking.” It sometimes appears that some authors seem to forget that they’ve scribed words, not accounting numbers and fleeting “gloaties.” I’ve seen it become maniacal, greedy and mean spirited. It tans my hide, to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I understand — the numbers can increase your sales, help you perpetuate your career and writing as a business. I love to receive a glowing review, to see when my ranking goes up and when people buy and share my books. It feels good and makes a tangible impression in the so-called real world. I also love to give good reviews, it makes me happy to share the words of talented people and I will do it in my own time, at my own pace, as I figure out what I want to say and share it shamelessly, helping others achieve readers.
It’s balance and common sense, people. Readers and writers, respect each other’s pace and choices, and above all, be grateful for what you do receive and remember why you read and write in the first place. If it isn’t love of the word, maybe you should reconsider your heart and/or mind. I’m not meaning any harm, I just had to say what I had to say.