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wordmonkey
10-31-2008, 04:40 PM
OK, I know this will only be specific to some AWers here, but it's open to speculation for the as and when people too.

I don't read reviews of my work or interviews I've done. Granted, as yet there aren't many, but I know I've had a few that were really quite good. But I don't even WANT read (or in the case of the podcast one I did) listen to them.

I get some strange looks and comments from friends and family but I really have no desire to read this stuff. I buy copies, I send links to people, but I never read the stuff myself.

Is it just me?

Captain Morgan
10-31-2008, 04:51 PM
A generation after Tom Baker had quit acting for the Dr. Who series, he admitted he had NEVER seen even one of his own episodes of himself. Not ever on TV, and not even snips in the cutting room.

So no, you are not alone.

Actually, that may not be the same thing.... but.

I think some people don't WANT to read their own press, because they are afraid of what NEGATIVE things may be said.

willietheshakes
10-31-2008, 04:55 PM
I can't resist. And it can be rough (especially as a reviewer myself, knowing that every seemingly banal phrase can be unpacked for lacerating criticism), and can lead to a tailspin. But one can take away useful thoughts from reviews, so it kind of balances out. That might be due to the fact that most of my reviews were quite positive.

(Interestingly, in my day job I recently hosted a writer -- award-nominated, bestseller -- who I had reviewed a month or so before. On balance a positive review, but with some definite criticism. So naturally I was a little uneasy, but he thanked me for the review. I thought he was just being polite, but he made a point of thanking me again for the critical bits, saying that he needed to read those, and that he appreciated the insights. So I guess what goes around comes around. Or something.)

NeuroFizz
10-31-2008, 05:55 PM
Of course I read it. If we ignore all crits that come from anywhere except sources of our own choosing (betas, friends, family), we risk the potentially disastrous track of basing our view of our own talent, technique, and delivery on a self-centered and self-selected judging panel. I'm always wanting and needing to improve. The best way to do that is to listen to any and all commentary, particularly the unsolicited kind from strangers. Some of the comments are straight and true, but even the ones that seem to me to be misguided indicate that I may not have been clear enough in my writing to get the intended feel or action across. I can never say that I am a good writer. I can think I am, but that kind of judgement has to come from others, and mostly from anonymous others or people I know of but have never met.

Darzian
10-31-2008, 06:02 PM
If I were Stephanie Meyer, I wouldn't read the amazon reviews on her last Twilight book.

aka eraser
10-31-2008, 07:01 PM
Sure, I read it. I mean, how else will I know who to sue? ;)

wordmonkey
10-31-2008, 07:32 PM
My thinking on whether I am doing a good job is that a) someone pays me to do it again; and b) people buy what I wrote.

If that's working, I figure I'm doing OK.

I'm not specifically concerned by bad reviews. At the end of the day, it's opinion, and everyone has an opinion. I'm actually more worried about good reviews - and the impact that might have on my ego.

willietheshakes
10-31-2008, 07:50 PM
I'm actually more worried about good reviews - and the impact that might have on my ego.

I understand that concern. In my experience, though, the good reviews almost manage to bring me up to neutral. They're like methadone for self-esteem.

NeuroFizz
10-31-2008, 07:54 PM
I'm actually more worried about good reviews - and the impact that might have on my ego.

I don't think there is anything wrong with a healthy ego. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and the former is a significant aid in this business. It certainly takes confidence to continually push oneself to improve, try new things, and look for ways to be innovative.

katiemac
10-31-2008, 11:51 PM
This doesn't apply to me--yet--but I tend to think of things from a marketing/PR perspective these days. I understand not reading reviews, but you might want to take a quick peak at interviews you've given to make sure they quote you correctly. As writers, there's less of a chance an interviewer has a bias on you, but screw-ups happen.

wordmonkey
11-01-2008, 12:03 AM
This doesn't apply to me--yet--but I tend to think of things from a marketing/PR perspective these days. I understand not reading reviews, but you might want to take a quick peak at interviews you've given to make sure they quote you correctly. As writers, there's less of a chance an interviewer has a bias on you, but screw-ups happen.

Oh I make sure everyone I know gets to see all the press! :D

I use the stuff as it comes in, I just don't like to look myself.

I am certain if I was misquoted, at least a half dozen people would be on me within seconds hitting me with "Did you REALLY say that?"

maestrowork
11-01-2008, 12:04 AM
I read reviews. I don't read them for the ego boost or "he's such as great writer, blah blah" but more about what the story meant for them and what they took away... that is more interesting to me. If they missed the point, was it because I didn't communicate it well enough? If they totally got it, did I do something right?

Still, the book is out, and I try not to be too hung up on people's opinions.

ishtar'sgate
11-01-2008, 12:23 AM
I get some strange looks and comments from friends and family but I really have no desire to read this stuff. I buy copies, I send links to people, but I never read the stuff myself.

Is it just me?
I read them all, good and bad, then make file copies. I don't get highly emotional one way or the other but I like to know what does and doesn't work for different individuals. Obviously, some reviews are taken with a huge grain of salt. Some people gush and some people stomp all over you.

CheshireCat
11-01-2008, 01:06 AM
No, you're not alone.

I don't read reviews as a rule. Some exceptions, such as those my editor sends me; she knows not to send those that will make me nuts, such as the ones that give away vital plot details, or twists, or hammer at me for choosing to have a character smoke or swear. (Yes, some reviewers have clear and biased agendas, and I don't need that crap.)

I never listen to the radio spots they send me on CD, and I've never listened to one of my audio books.

I will read interviews, just to make sure I was correctly quoted -- which almost never happens. *sighs*

CaroGirl
11-02-2008, 08:40 PM
I will read interviews, just to make sure I was correctly quoted -- which almost never happens. *sighs*

What almost never happens? That you get quoted or that you get quoted correctly?

Genuinely curious.

CheshireCat
11-02-2008, 09:29 PM
What almost never happens? That you get quoted or that you get quoted correctly?

Genuinely curious.

That I get quoted correctly. Even if the interviewer uses a recorder to get every word on tape, there always seem to be misquotes or misunderstandings.

There's virtually always one flinch-worthy misquote in every interview I've ever done.

Even some written interviews, sent to me via email, end up in print with at least one misquote -- which I find very discouraging. I mean, you'd expect newspaper and magazine staff to at least be able to read, right??

:e2hammer:

scope
11-02-2008, 09:35 PM
I read them all.

I agree everything NeuroFizz said.

Toothpaste
11-02-2008, 09:39 PM
I'm still at the newbie stage of all this so unfortunately I just cannot resist reading them. And I know I shouldn't, the bad ones really make me feel lousy. I know I really should just not read any of them, but I do. And heck I'll admit it, a positive review really makes my day!

Skye Jules
11-02-2008, 10:10 PM
I'll sometimes read reviews of several pieces I write. I obviously read the reviews and comments my editor sends me, but I really only read reviews of articles that I have a strong attachment to, such as the one that will be coming out this Tuesday--election day!

Claudia Gray
11-02-2008, 10:18 PM
I don't really read them, unless sent by my publisher or agent. The reviewer isn't out to give me useful feedback; that person is writing for the reader, not the author, and that is genuinely a different set of criteria to judge by. I am lucky to have unsparing betas who will tell me in no uncertain terms where I've screwed up; I also can read between the lines of my reader mail to see what they most liked and what they want more of. I think that's the most important guide for me as a writer.

CheshireCat
11-02-2008, 10:29 PM
Claudia makes a great point.

And a very wise one.

Susan Breen
11-02-2008, 11:27 PM
I read the reviews but I squint, literally, which is ridiculous because why will it make a difference if I see the words poorly. But it comforts me to know I can close my eyes.

Sunnyside
11-03-2008, 08:39 PM
I read them all. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it.

rugcat
11-03-2008, 09:42 PM
I read them all. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it.Me too, and i suspect I always will.

Relayer
11-04-2008, 08:51 AM
Yes. And fan mail. Why wouldn't a person. I don't understand why one wouldn't? If u can't take critique or praise and put both in perspective you r in the wrong biz -- goes for any art form. Fragile egos need not apply.

Cassidy
11-04-2008, 09:47 AM
I read the reviews but I squint, literally, which is ridiculous because why will it make a difference if I see the words poorly. But it comforts me to know I can close my eyes.

I love this...

Cassidy
11-04-2008, 09:51 AM
oh, and yes, i read my reviews too. can't help it-- can't resist. maybe like toothpaste said this is a newbie thing... maybe i'll outgrow the compulsion to look after i've been doing this for a bit longer.