07 March 2012

Insecure Writers For March And ROW80

Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh  The first Wednesday of the month brings Insecure Writers together....check it out!  There's no end to the variety - from the touching to the down right hilarious.  This Wednesday finds me in an odd place of opposing emotion.

It's All About Balance
My newest novel, The Third Fate, was sent out to beta readers very late the night before last.  Clicking that send button filled me with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.  Then I considered all the ways in which my wonderful betas might help me to sharpen my story, improve on my delivery, and I admit, even more excitement grew.  I'm not a patient person - did I mention that?  Waiting is a trial for me, but a necessary part of the process.  So....I wait. 

Her Dark Baron, my historical novella, has done better than I ever imagined!  It's a big deal for me!  I've had some very encouraging feedback from readers - and some constructive criticism for future books given in a kind way.  Fantastic, right?  Yes!  But then... I read a review that literally ripped me a new ...er, ummm, 'skirt'...yeah, a new skirt.  (wink wink).  Oh, I'd been told to expect bad reviews.  I know that every book won't appeal to every reader.  I suppose I couldn't understand until I read that scathing assessment.  It felt so personal!  But it isn't.  It's business.  Once you realize that truth, and accept it, you get on much better.  It was a learning process for me - an unhappy lesson - but one I needed to learn.   

A wise friend gave me the best advice.  'Do what you love.  Forget the rest.  Live life to the fullest so regret finds no home in your heart.'  It's a good motto to live by. I've heard from two camps on this issue - so, I ask....

Do you follow your book(s) reviews or do you try not to get caught up with them?  

In ROW80 News...

The Third Fate is in the hands of beta readers....Yippee!

*  I exercised only once this week.  But...my friend Sarah invited me to her finished basement where she is hosting a Zumba party later this week!  I'm really excited.


*  Today, I'm fasting from dawn to dusk in honor of the Purim holiday, which begins at sundown tonight!  I've decided to say a blessing every time I think of food...It's eight-a.m. and I'm stunned at how many times already my mind has wandered to food.  Maybe G-D was onto something when he called himself the 'bread-of-life' and 'living-water'...heh heh.  (Not to be irreverent...just my humor filled observation)

*  I'll indulge in some 'reading-for-enjoyment' the rest of this week!  I've got The Hunger Games and Pure waiting for me.  Ahhh...lovely.

*  Fresh and ready to go by next Monday, if all goes well, I plan to begin serious research for the next novella, which will be another historical! 

What about you?  Do you have a new project in the wings?  A WIP nearly complete? 

Have a wonderful back-half to your week, everyone!  Happy Writing!

~ Nadja

22 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are doing well with balance - it takes daily work for sure! YAY YAY YAY on getting out that book to beta readers :) Congrats! Great feeling indeed! I did zumba once and it's so freaking FUN!! Enjoy :)

    I figure a review is just one person's opinion out of millions - no way to please everyone. Focus on the good :) I like your friend's mantra.

    Have a great rest of your week! *hugs*

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    1. Thanks, Marie! I am really looking forward to this Zumba session! As for the balance...I try. Usually I find a great spot to hang out in...once in awhile I tip a little too far. Ha!

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  2. Don't waste an ounce of yourself on a bad review. Opinions are like...skirts. Well maybe not everyone has a skirt, but you know what I mean. :D If there was anything constructive to take from it, then go with that. If they just didn't like it, send it to the oh well vault.

    Enjoy the holiday and Zumba! I have been wanting to try it for ages - let us know if you like it?!

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    1. Haha! Thanks for running with the 'skirt' theme...I'm laughing out loud! I'd love to look you up - do you have a blog? When I click on your profile, I get an Indie Film Site, on which I can find no posts by yours truly. Straighten me out... haha.

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    2. LOL, now I understand why people are always confused. Clicked on my own name and saw that it goes to my SOOOO OLD blogger account that was created in college (so long ago!) for an indie film class. My blog is http://www.laurengarafalo.com

      I think you've stopped by before for Nano and Row80!! Good luck with the beta comments!!

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  3. I'm always getting a little closer to the end of this one, but I keep getting new ideas that need to be written down or forgotten forever.

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  4. I agree with Miss Lauren (as usual!) take what good you can and move on. I have no idea how this feels having not ever let anyone read anything I write but I can imagine how personal it must feel....after all our stories are kind of like babies. We create them, look after them, nurture them and then hopefully send them out into the world. But you are right, it is business and not everyone will like everything. That is life!

    Have a great week my dar and enjoy the comments from your betas!

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    1. Isn't it the truth?! And yes...I cannot wait for beta thoughts and feedback to come rolling in! I actually got my first beta back today....but haven't had time to go through it other than the message....which was so encouraging!

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  5. You've got a lot going on. Glad to see lots of positives, but of course there must be a Grumpy Grumble somewhere. Sorry you had to endure a scathing review, but of course, you can't please all the people all the time. It's hard enough trying to please some of the people every now and then :-)

    Have a great time at Zumba. Sway your hips and have a blast.

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    1. Oh, Angela...I'm going to give Zumba my best shot...although have you ever seen Elaine (from Seinfeld) dance? Yeah...it's almost that bad. Hahahah. I could probably get on Tosh.0...haha.

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  6. I hope the beta feedback is useful and encouraging!

    Bad reviews, that's a tough one. I think you have to focus on the positive (and the majority) reviews. I've belonged to book clubs for 15 years, and it's helped me realize that rarely does a book bring together a roomful of people to a common opinion.

    Plus, I truly think some people like to not like what other people like. If they see a lot of positive reviews, it creates a high expectation or the need to be a harsher critic (devil's advocate almost).

    Am I making any sense? I know what I want to say, but sometimes it's hard to put it into words.

    Most of all, trust your gut and the majority of your readers. We all cringe a bit with any negative feedback... but that's why you surround yourself with writers. So we can pick each other back up!

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    1. You are so right, Tia. I've actually found that the reveiws on Goodreads help a little more since they tend to leave a few lines to let you know what they liked/didn't like.

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  7. You are a business, so customer complaints are valuable, in that they give you a way to improve and gain more customers. However, sometimes we just have to realize that some people are not the correct audience for our books. A person that reads primarily paranormal romances, is probably not going to enjoy a YA fantasy like my book. Neither is a 62 year old woman. It's just a fact of life.
    I've gotten a few SCATHING reviews, and I read them, but I take from them what is actually helpful... like "the character was too whiny" or "the dialogue seemed inconsistent". "There are grammar mistakes" means that maybe I should switch proof readers. I don't take away comments like, "How could anyone rate this well?" or "all the good reviews must be from friends and relatives" <--- someone actually said that to me. :)
    Reviewers are important and fulfill an important role. We should respect their right to praise or vent, but try not to take it personally. You are NOT your stories, though it feels like it sometimes.

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  8. I bet it would be hard not to read the reviews and feel something. I'm so glad you're getting some awesome reviews though!

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    1. Thanks....me too! Ha! Good to see you!

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  9. I'm waiting on two beta readers and received word back from one. The waiting is hard since I want to fix my manuscript, but at the same time the distance will be helpful.

    When I read reviews at first, I wanted to hide, but as with anything my skin is thicker so now I can read them without flinching. I've even learned some things from them.

    Have a wonderful weekend. Happy reading. I'll also be indulging in some books.

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    1. Yes. I think the distance will be healthy for me also. That's a good point.

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  10. Just found your blog......congratulations....hope we can review your work one-day.

    http://thereadingcafe.com/

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    1. That would be great! I didn't realize we were also linking up with Man-Candy-Monday posts. Great!

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  11. Congratulations on all the good reviews! We'll just ignore the bad one...
    I love your idea of praying when you think of food while fasting.
    I'm as impatient as you when it comes to betas. I keep worrying, what if they don't like it? Why haven't they gotten back to me yet?

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    1. Thank you, Deniz. I was quite surprised to discover how often my thoughts trail toward food. I'm consumed by eating, snacking, and when I'll eat next. It was very eye opening.

      I'll also say that for Purim, I fasted from one evening to the next (although you can get up and eat before dawn - the fast is dawn to dusk). I cannot imagine fasting for three days like Ester (Hadassah) did. I guess it's because I'm not in actual fear for my life - as she was. Whew!

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