Truth or Icing? The Conscience Behind A Negative Review


I hate writing negative reviews of other writers’ works, especially when I’m even acquainted with the writer via social media. It makes me feel like a traitor of some sort. I never have taken conflict well, and don’t look forward to stinging, venomous verbal repercussions that sometimes arrive in a writer’s response. But, what are you supposed to do? When something stinks, it stinks! Ignoring a dandelion in your yard doesn’t turn it into a flower!

I was recently presented with a project that simply left me with no way else to go. I was trapped. I’d promised a review and by God I had to give one. Unfortunately, the work needed a complete rewrite. The topic was interesting, it was a true story and my heart really went out to the family members who wrote it. If I lied and praised it, everyone else reading it would know I lied and there would go my credibility. No, I had to be honest.

Writing a review can sometimes be a heart-wrenching experience. We all know how hard it is to receive a bad review, but seldom, I think, does anyone appreciate how difficult it is for the writer of that bomb that just went off in another writer’s life.

You’ve decimated someone’s work in a few brief paragraphs. You know you’re right, but you feel so wrong.  

Well, buck up! (That’s a “b”!)

If that author rewrites and republishes that poor piece of their heart and soul and then get’s a writing award, do you think they’re going to thank you for the favor of that stinging review and share the check with you?

HAH! No way, Jose! (Do I hear laughter in the background?)

So, good luck out there. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I hope you win a huge monetary award and sell millions of books–I really do! Everyone who reads that old review will know what got your butt moving to improve your work.

No

Okay, I’ll know it! And that will be enough. After all, I didn’t write it to hurt you. I wrote it to help you!

I hope it did!

One thought on “Truth or Icing? The Conscience Behind A Negative Review

  1. Good post. It’s tough to say something negative about a friend’s work, but your credibility is at stake if you’re not honest about it. The trick is to do it in a constructive way that will ease the pain a bit.

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