Friday, January 15, 2010

A writer's rant

This post is about writing, rather than food; although the two often go hand in hand with me. When I have a success, I want to eat to celebrate. When I suffer a failure, I want to eat to console myself.
Is it writers, women in general or just me who feels the need to please everyone? I'm not talking about the usual people: family, employer, neighbors, postal workers, store clerks, the doctor I see once a year.... Last visit he said I should lose a few pounds. He'll be so disappointed if I don't.

Really? Do I honestly believe the man will go home and be sighing over his plate of grilled chicken until his wife asks, "What's wrong, dear?" so he can reply, "Gayle Trent...she didn't lose weight like I asked her to."

Alternatively, I don't think he'll go cartwheeling down the hall in unrestrained joy if I show up for my next visit a few pounds lighter. Sure, I'll probably get a high five, but I don't think I'll be nominated for patient of the year.

Mainly, though, I'm talking about reviewers. Someone posted a review which turned up in my Google alerts which said Murder Takes the Cake was obviously written by a man using a pseudonym who knows nothing about baking. I pretty much laughed it off, given the fact that there have been more good reviews of the book than bad. But, still, somewhere deep inside I was wondering what would it have taken to make that reviewer like my book?

Once again, I "pretty much" laughed it off, although I did mention it to my editor after she'd sent me a glowing review from a top Amazon reviewer. I said, "Thanks I needed that especially after...." She wrote back that I should listen to the Amazon reviewer--her review has more clout. And that's what I needed to hear.

It's another reason I'm thankful for this group. We can applaud each other's successes and say that anyone who doesn't like our work is just plain mean. :-)


Chris V. said...

Well one bad apple doesn't always spoil the bunch. That's ok - use it anyway. Why they hated my book! That'll get the interest. ha!

Gayle said...

Good point, Chris! :-)

Donis Casey said...

I always just comfort myself with the thought that anyone who gives me a bad review is obviously an idiot.

Donis Casey said...

Check this out - Betty Webb just posted this link on the Poisoned Pen author chat room. The Guardian (UK) has a wonderful article on bad reviews and why authors should not respond to them.

Marian Allen said...

Gayle, that's the weirdest bad review I ever heard of. Post it on your blog under the heading: Reviewer pans cake book. Remember, I've read the book. Maybe it's the reviewer who knows less than he/she thinks about baking.... Ah, well, we can't please everyone. I got a special mention from two reviewers on one of my stories. One couldn't say enough bad about it; the other couldn't say enough good. :/

Lisa Hall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Hall said...

Some people are just haters! It would be sad to go through life being super-critical. What kind of person finds pleasure in being that way?