“The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews. ” ~William Faulkner
I've been a reader longer than I've been a writer...just barely. But nonetheless that's a truth that I sometimes forget. And when you enter into the actual business of being an author all of a sudden the comments you'd normally let fly off your tongue--or fingers as it were--can hurt an author you've become friends with or could become friends with in the future.
Places like Goodreads have taken on a new role in my life. For awhile it's been a place that readers and authors alike have been adapting as homebase to keep track of books we want to read, have read, or are currently reading. I admit I go on there a lot and follow a heck of a lot of reviewers and fellow authors. It's fun to see what people are reading...even informative to read a review. I know it can help influence me when I buy a book, whether it's to try a new author or steer away from a story that wouldn't be my cup of tea.
But what happens if you're the author on the receiving end of a not so glowing review? When you're an author and a reviewer there's a murky area in there. I want want to give an honest review, but I don't want to hurt an author's feelings either. *sigh* Did I mention murky area?
My idea of a great book is 4stars because I'm REALLY stingy on my 5star ratings, but another author might not feel the same way. And while we tell ourselves that we need a thick skin in this business we have to worry about review sites and the general public as it is, do we really have to nitpick at a fellow author as well?
Now that I'm part of two different networks of authors I have to think about what I say from a professional standpoint, not just me spouting out my opinions. To be fair to my friends and fellow authors, and as a compromise, I think I'm going to have to move myself to a no-rating system and just post what I like about a story and leave it at that.