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“Somebody Likes Us!”


Don’t know about you, but, there are days when I feel all alone in the Arizona desert!

We all have our reasons for writing and it’s a good bet that most of those reasons are fairly standard…to fulfill a desire…to become established, famous, successful…to simply tell a story…to scratch an ego itch…for all these and many other reasons. Does it really matter what our reasons are for writing? Any reason is valid and need not be magnified, right? Well, not quite. Some might write to hurt someone, to slander, to libel, to ruin someone or some entity. Let’s just assume for this post that our reason for writing has a noble intent and has no malicious purpose…and, what we write is good. It’s a certainty we’ve picked up novels at the Book Store, read them, and announced them as crap-reads;

So, where are the sales, the 5-Star Reviews, the accolades we authors covet?

For some of us, we write a few books and here come the critics with their reviews that range from 5-Stars to 3-Stars, even lower. The world of reading thrives on reviews, what someone thinks about her/his reading experience. There are professional review services. There are housewives, husbands, people in book clubs, avid readers who are moved to comment about a writer’s effort. It is a fact of life in the relationship between reader and writer. We like those comments when they’re dripping with lovely words like, ‘great’, ‘brilliant’, ‘going to read more from this super author’… Oh, we salivate and pour some champagne. We begin to bore our spouses with our ceiling dances and loud hoots of joy.

So, you have written what you consider a relatively good book…sure, even you can in the final pre-publish reading find things you could change — extend a section, remove a section, embellish here, there, increase the length, decrease the length, and so forth. In the end, you feel that you have written an entertaining book, maybe not the perfect quintessential novel that you know is still inside you somewhere but a good book. The reviews line up, the 5-Stars, the 3-Stars, the 1-Star, the fractional Star, and you begin to analyze the reviews, maybe agree with a point or two the people are making. The emotions begin to swirl. Of course, you gravitate toward the 5-Star, 4-Star reviews and are elated. The bad reviews bring conflicting thought patterns…there is an initial sinking feeling which will become anger, denial, and, at some point, you will equivocate only to finally acknowledge that perhaps the negative points made in the bad reviews have validity.

Your thought processes on negative reviews from readers run the gamut. ‘What gives these people the right to publicly condemn your efforts, these Hannah Housewives, these Harold Hushpuppy husbands?’ Hell, you likely gave them the book free on amazon during a free giveaway day(s)! Cost them nothing and they’re critiquing you! You go back and re-read the fair-to-good reviews, get some renewed sustenance. But, most of all, you’re in a dither and doubting yourself and your writing talent because you could not please everyone. Chances are very good you are not being controlled by a publicist, someone who shelters you from this wasteful dithering, this minor earthquake inside your head. As an independent author you are a one-person publishing house, writing, editing, marketing, promoting, getting lost in all the digital world’s ‘ways and means.’

The really bad news is, of course, there are pitifully few sales… Ah, the aggravating world of the word-spinner! Where in the world did you get the idea you could write? 

Does an established, famous, author get a mixture of critiques? Perhaps not so many because the pros have the reading Pavlov public 5-Star oriented. But the truth is, yes, even these most popular penners of best sellers get their negative reviews as well. They have a much better shield in place to deflect the nasty words that cause the dithering.

All of this is not to say that you, I, and the countless other millions of writers do not have our book flaws. All of us have them! The temperaments of some writers are better than yours and they keep writing, getting away from the ‘passive’ passages of narrative, the cliches, too many ellipses, redundancy of words and phrases. We have many flaws in our books, and with each new book we write, we are getting less and less errata. We are, as they say, growing our craft. Will we get to that stage where we live among the giants of our writing world? Some will because talent cannot be denied too long. In the rare instance, enough money is spent to insure success – I can come up with my book-example of this, and I’m sure you can. Or, have our egos, our inner selves, betrayed us with pronouncements of our talent?

It is difficult to separate ourselves from the critics in the writing field, but we can remember what our reasons are for writing. We will still experience the dithering, but we have to stay true to whom we are. If we are getting 5-Stars along with some minimal Stars, somebody likes us. And, that is the message: remember your reasons for writing and just know that somebody likes us.

My belief is you are getting better with each writing effort. Just stay committed to your course…and…don’t…give…up!

Somebody Likes Us!

Billy Ray Chitwood – 01/17/18 – (Old post worth repeating.)

Please preview my books, read some of my Amazon Reviews, and a short & clumsy Bio. 

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15 comments on “Somebody Likes Us

  1. Micki Peluso says:

    Well said, Billy Ray. I get angry when I get a review by a reader–whether a 3 star or 5 and I can tell they did not read all or even any of the book. I’d rather have no review than one like that. Thanks for the morale boost–always needed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome, Micki… Yeah, you can surely tell when a book reviewer is phony! Always wishing you the best, Micki! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kester, for your reblog. My computer is up and down, and don’t know if I responded. Anyway, thanks, my friend. Best wishes.


  2. cagedunn says:

    My view on reviews: any review is better than none, and the low ones show which reader group are not going to like that style in that genre. No book will ever have happiness from every reader. Not possible. So I take it as a lesson in which target group worked, which didn’t, and how I can adapt the visibility, covers, titles, to more accurately assess my aim with the next story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! My computer has been down more than up, even missed some messages, so I apologize if this is late. Thanks again for your comment. My best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cagedunn says:

        Sorry to hear about the computer – they’re not as reliable as paper, but nothing is invulnerable to problems (I had a hard-drive crash when I published a story, and the problem with hard-drive failures is it does LIFO – last in first out – so I lost all my revisions and edits!). Hope it’s all sorted out now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gwen Plano says:

    You’ve captured the passion, the need to write, as well as the agony when our work is not received well. Thank you for being so honest, Billy Ray. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My computer has been up, down, up, down, and don’t remember if I thanked you for the comment. You’re a great lady! ♥


  4. eden baylee says:

    Write for yourself, Billy Ray. It’s most important that your writing pleases you, first and foremost. Hugs, hon. xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, great lady! xo


  5. Tina Frisco says:

    Terrific post, Billy Ray. You not only detailed the gamut of emotions that tend to haunt us, but also ended with a positive note of encouragement. Thanks so much for sharing what many are afraid to say ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tina. Appreciate so much your comments… Sale or not, I’m writing! Always wishing you the very best. ♥

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tina Frisco says:

        Me too, Billy Ray! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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