the Little Red Reviewer

Why This Sometimes Takes Forever

Posted on: February 14, 2015

Some books are really easy to write a review for.

Others, not so much.

Some books fight me every step of the way when I’m trying to write the review. it’s like they do not want to be reviewed.  Maybe they are shy, and don’t want to be talked about? Maybe they don’t like to be the center of attention? Maybe I should stop personifying a stack of paper and ink.

When the book fights me, sometimes I’ll fight back with instrumental music. Maybe classical stuff, maybe modern stuff or a movie soundtrack. I’ve been on an Escala kick lately. This is music I can get lost in, a musical current that pulls me along to who knows where.  I don’t know where I’ll end up. It’s the same as “getting lost in” a book.

Those books that fight me when I’m trying to review them? It’s not the book that’s fighting, it’s me. If the book had an emotional effect on me, I want my review to reflect that journey, that being pulled along by the current, not knowing where I’ll end up. If the book broke my heart, I want the act of writing the review to rebreak it.  If the book filled me with joy, I want the act of writing the review to add even more joy to my life. If the book took me somewhere new, I want the review to do the same. I want my reviews to be a mirror of what I experienced while reading the book.

And I sure as hell do not wake up every day with that kind of writing chops.  Being able to create that mirror is a psychological state of mind for me.  Sometimes I’m in a rush, or I’m tired, or I feel obligated to get the damn review up. Sometimes the book didn’t put up a fight. But because sometimes I can’t do anything less than write a review that’s worthy of the book, I’m willing to wait for that state of mind, or take steps to trigger it.

If the book fights me, that’s a good sign. It means I had something to fucking say that I wanted said in just the right way.

That’s why this sometimes takes so damn long.

 

16 Responses to "Why This Sometimes Takes Forever"

Those are some of the truest words ever spoken.

Liked by 1 person

Yep. For me, it’s the garden that refreshes me. There’s a quote by Minnie Aumonier:

“When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.”

Same applies to writers trying to lift words onto the page.

Liked by 1 person

Such truth. Preach it, sister!

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Interesting- Ive only done a few, but Ive begun to understand that “I really want to say something specific here but I’m not sure what it is” feeling. I’ve found I also struggle with self-doubt when writing book reviews: Who am I to judge this writing, this author? Am I wrong for liking it & is my review misleading people? Can I adequately do justice to this book? Or the worst- did I miss something obvious here?

I’m trusting it gets better with practice!

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it does get easier with practice. i still question if I’m doing a book justice.

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I know what you mean. Actually, it takes me forever to write reviews, period. I envy those who can sit down and bang out their thoughts in an hour or less. For me it usually takes much longer – hours if not days. Words don’t come as easily as I want them to when I want to describe what I think about a book, it takes a while for me to process my feelings. And as you say, certain books that really impact me, they make it even harder.

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If I don’t get them down quick they get very hard indeed; I almost never take notes. A week later may mean two more books past and then things get FUN. Once put out a review where I copied a character’s name from Goodreads…the wrong character with a almost the same name.

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I find your lack of standards appalling. Must be that Colorado St. education.

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same here, the longer I wait, the harder it is. but sometimes I *have* to wait, because reasons. but do i pick up an easier book in the meantime?

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I don’t wait ever. Finish one book and start the next. Reading is what I enjoy, writing comes second.

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Happens to me too. Oddly, cooking or baking helps me get in a good frame of mind and then type it out.

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i wish that worked for me!

Liked by 1 person

I very rarely wait to write a review. I have to write it immediately or I basically lose the momentum or run out of steam or something! I definitely can’t leave them for a couple of weeks – it’s like I lose the emotion a little bit if that doesn’t sound over the top! I mean, if I loved the book I still love it but I lose the gush-factor! Similarly if I didn’t like a book I think it won’t show as much in the review if I leave it – that being said, I quite often think that I should have waited and reflected more. I’m always in a rush with things and everything is on the last minute. I’m hopeless!
I do appreciate your reviews though – so whatever you’re doing just continue. If it’s not broke don’t fix it😀

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“it’s like I lose the emotion a little bit”
Same exact thing with me! I want to write the review while i’m still in the feeling of the book. I try to take notes while I’m reading, and sometimes rereading those notes will help if I’ve lost some of the emotion. Sometimes. and sometimes i don’t take any notes.

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Well, for the first time ever, and totally out of character for me, but over Christmas, because I was busy and didn’t have time to post things but was doing some reading I actually part scribbled some reviews – I haven’t done that before – and so whilst they weren’t fully formed I decided to leave them like that and wait for a few days (because some of the reviews weren’t due). I did wonder if it would all be a disaster but in fact when I came to write them up it was really useful because I had put some of my emotion into the notes (in other words if somebody was acting like a tool I just said so – it wasn’t all plain facts) and once I got going with the review and reading my notes it was like it all came pouring out. Without those notes though it would have been useless. I needed the original ‘trigger’ for how I felt when leaving the book. Not sure I could always do that but it was useful for books where I want to read it NOW but its not being reviewed for weeks to come.

Liked by 1 person

So true! I tend to eventually try to force myself to write even when the review isn’t what I’d like it to be, because if I don’t then I stress myself out and fall off of the internet for weeks at a time.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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