Under Review

Jan 16, 2013 by

Under Review

I’m new to the Twitter game. As a new author, I’ve been told by everyone, how important it is to develop a Twitter following, follow others relevant to your profession, and live even more extensively online. (Seemingly impossible for an extroverted personality like me who already has such an inept and cowardly filter.)

“Show your personality, Nicole. Just be you … in 140 characters.”


Since the past two weeks have found me on bed rest, nursing an angry back, I figured I’d use the time to tweet, read tweets, retweet, search other authors who tweet and follow them, and hang out with celebrities I’d never hang out with in real life. Suddenly I find my twitter feed full of other authors, book agents, publishing personalities, and —scariest of all— book reviewers.

Admittedly, the reviewers hold the most intrigue for me. On their blogs, through their twitter and facebook accounts, they seemingly hold the power of life and death in their hands. To like or not to like, that is the question.

The power of the pen, er, typewriter?

The power of the pen, er, typewriter?

Let’s face it, it’s not like I haven’t been reviewed before. It’s not like you haven’t been either. Life is constantly reviewing us. If it’s not our children reviewing our parenting through their (mis)behavior, then it’s the state of our brilliant or lack luster relationships, the bosses who praise or disparage us on our jobs, or the most important critic we each have—the person staring back at us in the mirror.

Our inner critic is often the harshest, unflinching in her observations, expectations, and other “ations” that can motivate us to either climb the nearest mountain peak and scream “I’m the man!” or crawl back in bed, covers over head, in a fetal position. (I swear, I can’t stand mine most of the time, so I criticize her right back. She’s especially sensitive about her lack of compassion, so I ruthlessly remind her that she’s NO Mother Teresa and never will be.)

Review. Reviews. Reviewed. Reviewers.

I guess we’ve each played a part in that cycle somewhere.

I get that art is especially subjective. (Just ask my poor brother who constantly sends me beautiful drawings for my book that he’s so graciously agreed to illustrate only for me to look at the said work of art and whine about how it’s not exactly, precisely, absolutely what I want when, the truth is, I’m not even exactly sure of what I want.)

I offer this as proof:

Pretty amazing, right?

Pretty amazing, right?

Or this:

Again ... the man has skills.

Again … the man has skills.

Still, as subjective as art is, there must be something about “good” art that appeals to the universal idea about what that is exactly. I’ve read some great books and found some great reviewers who felt the same way as I did about particular ones. I’ve come to appreciate “Educating Alice” for her insightful critiques. And, who could resist a reviewer named Wendy Darling?

I mean, there are people out there who read and review for a living, out of passion, for the sheer power of it! And? They scare the BeJesus out of me.

Should they?

After ping-ponging this around in my head for a while, I’ve concluded no. No, they shouldn’t.

The truth is, I write because I love it. That’s the reason I do most everything in my life. I’m a mom because I love my kids. I’m a wife because I love my husband. I’m a friend because I love my friends. I don’t do any of those things perfectly. Trust me, every day offers at least ten opportunities for my inner critic to stand up and clear her throat for my attention. (Screw her.) Still, even if I’m the only one after the end of a day to applaud at least my effort to do and be “good”, then that’s enough I suppose. If someone else benefits or has been served by your act of service, then I guess that’s the icing on the proverbial cake. I’ll have chocolate, please.

Peace and Blessings,


Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Reply