I can’t speak for every writer out there, but I know that for myself, I have a love-hate relationship with this profession. It’s just how my creative process works. One day I’ll be flying high, confident in my ability to use words to paint pictures. The next I’ll be rolling low, fighting with myself not to trash everything I’ve ever written. Some nights I can stay up until 3am plugging away, lost in a world of my own making. Other nights I fall into fitful sleep convinced that I’m a hack who should do the world a favor and hide under a rock.
It’s not exactly a steady-as-she-goes gig, this writing thing.
I’m not looking for sympathy here, and this isn’t a not-so-subtle cry for you to tell me how fabulous my books are. This is more of a Public Service Announcement.
If other writers are like me (and I suspect many of them are…we’re a goofy sort-of similar bunch), when we find ourselves at those low points, one of the things we do to buoy ourselves up is to pour over the kind words we’ve gotten from those who dig our work. Words like, “I stayed up till 3 am, I couldn’t put it down,” and “When is your next book coming?” have a sort of nutritional value to the writer’s soul. They give us strength, the kind we can’t provide for ourselves.
This is one reason why reviews are so important. Of course they’re fantastic for helping to sell our books – reviews are guideposts to for new readers to follow, and they do – but along with that, a good, honest review has the power to keep an author afloat when they’re flailing in a stormy sea of self doubt. A good, honest review tells the author - Look, you did it once before. You can do it again.
Today, think about an author you love. Indie pub, self-pub, trad-pub, it doesn’t matter. Pick one, and go leave an honest review. It doesn’t have to be a five star review, it just needs to be honest. And while I think that all reviews – even negative ones – serve a a good purpose, make today about positivity. Find an author who deserves a good word, and lift them up a little. There will be plenty of time tomorrow for negative reviews.
p.s. If you’re feeling super ambitious, copy and paste your review on multiple sites. Amazon is many people’s go-to place to leave reviews, but Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, iTunes and others like them are great places to drop a line or two, also.
p.p.s. The voting is still open for IndieReCon’s 2014 Best Indie Novel Award. If you haven’t voted yet, please go here and cast your vote. Voting ends at 7pm on the 27th. Thanks!