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IWSG: Why Authors Need Honest Reviews

Last month I talked about how writing takes an emotional toll on us because we pour our hearts and souls into our stories. Shortly after that, I started getting feedback from beta readers on the book coming out next week. Everything was great until the last one.

Oh, boy, here we go!

The logical side of me knew the last reader wasn't my target audience for this story, but I also knew she had a valid point for her criticisms. All of my insecurities crushed me despite the fact the other eight readers loved the book. I started questioning everything. It sounded something like this...

"I know there could be more conflict, but I didn't want an angsty conflict-ridden book right now. I needed to read a sweet but emotional story about two good people finding their way to each other."

"Why am I writing for me? I'm supposed to be writing for the readers."

"But I'm a reader. Sometimes I don't want a book so full of conflict that I'm angry the whole time I'm reading."

"This reader hated every chapter. She said there wasn't enough conflict to make it interesting."

"All the other reader liked it. What's the right thing to do?"

It was all ridiculous, but isn't that how insecurity works? We know we can never make everyone happy, but we want to. In the end, I decided to leave the story as it was because what I wrote fulfilled the purpose I had for writing it. That didn't mean I stopped fretting over it. And then yesterday I received the most wonderful review. The reader shared details about what she enjoyed, which all matched with my goal in writing Jackie's story. Here's an excerpt from it.

"It was such a sweet story, one that I felt deeply. Her mom's death in the beginning of the book hit me harder than I would have imagined considering I was still getting to know the characters. I was instantly drawn into the story and had to read the rest of the book. I cried at times throughout the story. The way the more emotional moments were woven into all the lighthearted, fun events made sure the book didn't sit too heavy. But, the more emotional aspects were definitely given enough space. The way grief was portrayed felt so real. The characters were amazing. I loved everyone I met and can't wait to read about them in other books." ~From a BookBub review

This!! This is why I keep writing the stories in my heart and mind even though I'm a horrible businesswoman and don't sell a ton of books. I honestly believe that the people who need to find the story because they can connect with the emotions will find it when they need. And that's a beautiful thing. I'm connecting on an emotional level the way I want, I just don't always get the privilege of knowing it happened.

Do you write reviews for the books you read? Why or Why not?

I try very hard to write reviews for most of the books I read. It's my way of encouraging other authors to keep doing what they do.

RELEASE DATE: Tuesday, November 8th



Jackie Hobbs loves the job that lets her travel the world attending comic conventions and playing games until it prevents her from reaching her mother before she passes away. As an only child with no core group of friends to depend on, she dreads a lonely Christmas. The last thing she wants is to go to Vermont as her mother planned, but it's the only way to get the letters her mother left her. Austin Fletcher has lived in Sugar Creek, Vermont his entire life. He’s dedicated to his family’s cabin rental business even though he’d rather be in the mountains on an adventure. This Christmas he’s tasked with leading a tourist on a special scavenger hunt. It’s not snow-shoeing or cold-weather camping, but he’s soon captivated by the kind-hearted woman. Jackie never thought Sugar Creek would be the perfect place to say goodbye to her mother, but with Austin's help, she's learning to smile again. And who knows, he might be the one to give her heart a new home this Christmas.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. The awesome co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG are Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!

November 2 question - November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I love Nano! The first year I participated was in 2010. Most years I do something with Nano, and even if I don't reach 50K it's a great way to jump-start (or finish) a project. Thisear my goal is to finish book 3 in THE MAGIC WAKES series and start the second book in the SEASONS OF SUGAR CREEK series.

Send me a friend request if you'd like! Charity/River

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