Should Book Reviewers be Censored?

Before becoming a part of any online community of writers and readers like myself, I have never felt pressured about writing reviews. I don’t think I’ve left comments that bash an author or their work. I don’t believe in that but similar to having an opinion on a movie, us readers have opinions on books. The general public needs to understand that one person’s opinion does not affect the success or failure of a person’s book. Not every book will be loved or perceived as a great piece of writing by every reader. And we should have these discussions.

There are books that I loved and other readers didn’t, and I didn’t feel entitled to pressure them into liking it. I didn’t give them a long list of reasons why I liked the book and why I think they should like the book. Nothing in life works like that. Similarly, I’ve come across a lot of books that I couldn’t get past page one and these books have tons and tons of five star reviews. Bear in mind that readers come in all different age groups, cultures, preferences etc. What works for you won’t work for them.

Then why am I feeling so pressured when it’s time to leave a negative review? Not even negative but like a four star. I feel like if I’m not fangirling as hard as other people, they tend to get on your review and bash the crap out of you. Basically, you are bullied for not having the same opinion as the masses. Hmmm, why does that sound familiar? Look, Goodreads ain’t Facebook and it shouldn’t be a breeding ground of hatred. Writing is an art form, an expression of an author. It can be interpreted in many different ways by many different minds. A reviewer should not feel the need to censor themselves or falsify their reviews to please the majority. No. Instead, take these kinds of reviews as analytical feedback.

I don’t know about you but even if I read a few bad reviews and the book sounds interesting to me, I’ll still give it a chance.  As a writer and a book blogger, I feel like I often need to censor my opinion on a piece of writing in fear of being shunned or bullied in online groups. I think it’s unfair. Criticism should be taken in two forms: With a grain of salt, or for improvement. That’s just my two cents here.

Disclaimer: This post is in no way defending book reviewers who leave fake 1 star reviews or spread hatred towards any author. 

A reader should be free to express their thoughts and feelings about a book, whether it be in favor or not. One should not be attacked for having a different take on things. Like I said, one bad review doesn’t make or break a book. Good writing or bad writing does. And it will show eventually. JK Rowling was rejected by publishers. Until this day, there are people who don’t like the HP books. I recently heard someone say Chronicles of Narnia was boring, and that they almost walked out of the movie. There is no greater place for my  imagination as Narnia. So you get my drift?

I’ll leave the post off from here, because I do want to discuss good writing vs storytelling but that’ll need its own post. Also, in relation to this post, I will be discussing Goodreads as a platform for readers and writers alike.

Thanks for reading, and hope you guys an a fantastic Friday and awesome weekend ahead. For my fellow bloggers, how do you deal with leaving negative reviews? Have you ever been bullied?

xo Kat

 

A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer

Currently I’ve developed a schedule that I roughly follow daily, and it appears to be helping.  It’s also a great addition that my kids are getting older and can keep themselves busy for longer periods of time. I assume this gets better with time. It’s still on a day to day basis with me, how much they’ll let me sit and work. I consider myself a part-time freelance copywriter because I take on very minimal work right now. It won’t work for me to take on a lot of jobs and get overwhelmed with everything else going on in my life.

The income is not sufficient at all, but as a newbie to copywriting, whatever little I take exposes me to client relationships, writing experience and just general knowledge of the field. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done actual work. I say actual work because I blog, and I write fiction but I don’t make a dime off it.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s how I work from home.

On a school day it’s easier for me because I have one toddler at home. It’s easier to manage one and there’s less screaming and fights when they’re separated. You parents know what I’m talking about. So after we do the morning basics, and drop off my firstborn to school, me and the other one comes back home. I finish my cold cup of coffee, reheated of course, and feed my young then she pretty much gets occupied with activities, blocks, crafts, toys. etc. I usually get up from my work spot like every ten minutes to hand out more food or tend to needs. So it’s not all pretty perfect once I turn on my computer.

I’ll usually be back and forth from working to toddler, from about 9am to 1pm, then I’ll have another cup of coffee and engage with my toddler some more until it’s time to pick up the older one. After firstborn comes home all hell breaks lose and I pretty much lose my sh*t and can’t function. Just kidding. I do mom things for hours until the sun has set, then it’s time to do more mom things.

As for work, if a client really needs something done quickly, I’ll make the time in the afternoon. I basically work from my kitchen table because the height of the table is comfortable for me to sit and type for long hours. And also, because my little office space is too close to where the kids make their noises. So it’s a little bit easier at the kitchen table.

That’s basically it. How I work from home. I can’t pull all-nighters like I previously did. At thirty, I need to function on a set schedule because there’s so much more to do than I’m actually telling you. I need to read else I’ll go mad, and I need to jot things down for the multiple stories I’m working on. Our weekends change depending on what we have going on so this is just a little look into my weekday.

I get notifications around the clock from other bloggers. What do you guys do and when do you write? Do you write posts and schedule them or just whenever you get a chance? Let me know your blogging process in the schedule.

xo Kat

Paper Books vs E-books

Ahh! The never ending debate…

Which do you prefer? Comment down below if you prefer one over the other and why. I’d love to hear it.

I love books in any form or fashion but I do appreciate paper books and e-books in different ways.

Paper Books. Who doesn’t love the smell or books, the feel and sound of a turning page? My dream is to own a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast…one where I need ladders on wheels. Ohhh the awesomeness! Unfortunately, I don’t have that much shelf space where I live and at the rate of which I read, it’s very costly to support my reading addiction. However paper books make it easier to lend, or borrow, to smell, to cuddle…nothing beats having an actual book on your shelf. Not to mention, when you’re into the books, there’s no distractions as with an e-reader.

E-books. The cost and space factor is why I mainly use my tablet for reading. I use the Kindle App and an .epub reader app. I also use iBooks on my phone. The storage is not only nice for saving space but your hundreds of books can travel with you all of the time. I mean, we have so much pending books to be read but still feel like there’s a lack of content to choose from. Does this happen to anyone else? I spoke about the cost factor above, e-books are a little bit cheaper so there’s that. It’s comfortable to read on nowadays as technology is always advancing, there’s night modes, you can change the text and brightness to suit your eyes. You can also highlight and takes notes. This is something I won’t do on a paper book, it’d break my heart to damage such delicate things. On the negative side, your battery will die at some point, especially when you’re in the middle of a really good story and you’re not at home to plug it in right away to recharge. I also strongly suggest not downloading any social media apps or have a separate tablet entirely for reading, because you WILL get distracted. Some nights I plan to get at least fifty pages into a story then I get a message notification. Before I know it…three hours has passed and I’m exhausted and cursing myself. Ohhh the guilt! I don’t really listen to audiobooks but there’s a useful feature if it works for you.

In conclusion, I’d say the most important thing for me is the content of the book and not so much the delivery system. 

xo

 

Reading As A Writer

One of the most basic things to know about writers are, they were first readers. Readers possess the ability to use their imagination to carve out what an author is conveying in his or her book. It’s truly a great relationship to be in when you delve into a good story, and your whole world revolves around it. It gives us a place to be, an escape…somewhere to belong.

I’ve always been a good reader, although my choices aren’t always literary. It sometimes borders on senseless entertainment but hey! reading is reading, right? It’s not too far into a book that I start appreciating a story unless it’s really not my cup of tea, then I won’t even finish it.

Lately I’ve been having trouble concentrating on the story alone as I’m picking up on writer things. I really have no other words for it at this moment, I’m in between sleep and a cup of coffee so bear with me. I’m noticing the use of words, new words and phrases, unique expressions by the author, the descriptive scenes in some books and the lesser descriptive scenes in other books. I try not to use it as a stencil for my own writing but it does broaden my perspective as in the creative world, you’re always learning and developing. There really is no end.

I find myself highlighting expressions I’ve never seen before or the writing style of the author instead of dreamy or deep quotes. I really learn from each piece of writing and it helps me enhance my own writing, I hope.

As a writer, you’ll also find things wrong with material that you’re reading. Not every published work is brilliant or to your tastes and you’ll feel the need to make a comment. Just remember to be constructive in your criticism 🙂

xo