Other people's opinions

Writers write because …

… if we don’t, our brains will explode

… we love it (when we’re not tearing our hairs out by the roots)

… we want to connect with readers, to entertain, get people to laugh, to cry, to help people make sense of their crazy lives

And connecting means getting feedback. Which can be delicious

or not so much ...

I consider writing a private activity. But suddenly, your novel becomes totally public!! It’s wild, when you think about it. Sort of like one day you’re safe in bed, and then the next you’re totally naked in a crowded place.

No matter how popular your book is, no matter how big your name is on the front cover, (even if you’re name gets to be the size of Jennifer Echols J), some people will not like it. And someone will inevitably talk about not liking it on the internet.

After devouring the first fifty or so reviews of My Invented Life, I have (mostly) stopped reading them. (To understand why, see below). Here are two examples.

When I read the description of this book, I thought it would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, it just wasn't. First of all, the characters. The main character--Roz--got on my nerves. Her way of talking and thinking just got annoying. And enough with her invented life scenarios (yes, I know this is the title of the book, but we got it).

I just finished reading My Invented Life. I couldn't put it down. What a great read. Bjorkman really captured the turmoil that goes on in teenage life. Wow. I just sat there hugging the book and let out a sigh. That is the highest compliment ever. Characters that breathe are the best ones. 5 stars!

If I ever get too full of myself (like yoda cat here) ...

I will re-read the first excerpt. And if I’m feeling a little blue ...

I can picture an awesome blogger hugging my book.


  1. Such a great post! I can totally relate to the reasons why we write and the feelings when reviews are good or less than good. The pictures sum those feelings up perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

  2. This is a fantastic post and you perfectly put to words so many reasons for writing. :D

  3. You REALLY summed up the review situation perfectly! There is absolutely no consensus when it comes to blog reviews--on ANY book...But I love how blogging's allowing me to connect with the readers who get my work...

  4. Glad you can relate. It's kind of a roller-coaster, but I really think I've developed a thicker skin because of it!

  5. Great post. Love the "naked in a crowded place" line. Ah, yes, publication can feel like that.

  6. Oops. I can't believe I just commented using my son's account by accident!

  7. I also liked the "naked in a public place" simile--which sounds like a junior high nightmare!I guess that's why writers need thick skin!


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