Dreaming Novel Things is a feature in which I discuss book related subjects, but in a creative way. I’ll use interviews, narratives and lists to talk about book trends, book opinions and bookish matters. If you have any book related subjects you’d like to see me discuss just leave me a comment below!
How it Starts
You’ve just finished a book, one that failed to impress you so you gather your reading notes and sit down to write your review. Or in my case, jot a few sentences down then toss the book aside to write a review weeks later. Either way, the time to write a review has come and you’re ready to share your opinion. In your eyes this book failed big time and as you sit there calculating your rating (in my case, also munching on some candy) your phone buzzes. A blogger friend just tweeted how much they enjoyed their latest read, which just so happens to be your latest read as well, the very read that you’re about to publish a bad review on. Your friend’s tweet unsettles you a bit, but you shrug it off, friends didn’t fight over books… right?
You shake that thought away and proceed with your review. You’ve just about finished (and are very pleased with the way you incorporated some dry wit) when your phone buzzes again. This time its an email. Another blogging buddy just posted their own review on the same book. You read it eagerly and even though it’s filled with adorable bunny GIFs your stomach fills with dread. This person loved the book, not just liked the book, loved! Panic starts to set in, you check twitter and you can’t find one tweet that agrees with your opinion on this book. Darn twitter, you shout (in your head) and darn this book.
It Takes Over
So now of course, the self-doubt takes over. You read the back cover of the dreadful book as if you can find something you missed. Was the book suppose to be ironic? Or were you just plain not smart enough to get it? Gulp.
Even if you are sure of your convictions, you still experience self-doubt over how your blogging buddies will take it. What if this sparks one of those blogging wars you always read about? The ones where each side writes posts addressed anonymously like “Dear Hater” but everyone knows who they are talking about because of the things said over twitter. You always loved watching those play out but you didn’t think you had it in you to actually fight in one.
Or even worse, you get cold shouldered out of the blogging community. There’s no rude remarks about your review because no one makes a remark at all. You try to converse through twitter but all you get is one worded replies and deep down you know everyone is private messaging about your review and how you obviously didn’t get the book.
All of this plays out in your head as your mouse hovers over the publish button. You can’t kick the self-doubt out of your head and the more you think about it the more unsure you get. All of this you feel because deep down the worst fear of a blogger is their writing being called dumb or making another feel belittled for their opinion. I personally don’t want anyone to feel that I think less of them because of the opinion they hold. My review on a book is not an attack on someone else, it’s just an opinion.
Don’t Let it Win
We all have different tastes. I love pineapple but hate peaches. My sister Miranda loves peaches but hates pineapple. So when my mom comes home with the groceries I eat the pineapple and she eats the peaches. Though we both wonder at the other, both fruits get devoured.
So as you sit there, mouse hovering over the publish button, remember this: because we are all different, we like different things. No one is going to come with pitchforks and torches because you published a negative review. We’ll just wonder at the other and devour our preferred taste in books. Shake off that self-doubt. Click the publish button.
Do you ever experience self-doubt when writing reviews? How do you combat it? Share below and happy reading!