Fucking Like

Alright, so I’m not going to lie: the lack of feedback on my novel has been disappointing, which really sucks because the feedback that I have received has been incredibly helpful.  I feel it’s important to establish that I wasn’t looking for glowing reviews and unending praise.  I mean obviously that would have been nice, but what I really wanted was some sign that it was anything other than unremarkable.

An artist’s worst fear isn’t rejection; it’s indifference.  The sole purpose of art is to provoke a reaction in its audience, be it admiration, fear, awe, disgust or anything else.  To have your work accepted without a sound is like having the word “unremarkable” written across your forehead.  Unremarkable.  Not good, not bad, just… unremarkable.

Whoever invented the “like” button clearly wasn’t an artist, because no artist in their right mind would ever settle for something as curt and hollow as a “like” in response to their work.  “How does it make you feel?”  Like.  “What do you think the message is?”  Like.  “What does it mean to you?”  Like.

Like.  Like, I liked it, but not enough to go into depth about what I thought of it.  Or, yeah, I didn’t really like it, but to say that would be rude, so Like.

And what’s so wrong with saying you didn’t like it?  That’s good!  It means there’s a reason you didn’t like it, and once you tell them they can address the problem!  Can you imagine if no one gave constructive criticism?  If schoolteachers simply gave all assignments back with a “thumbs-up” stamp on the front?  We would never learn from our mistakes!  We would never be able to fix what’s wrong, to grow as individuals.

I feel kind of stupid complaining about this, but I created this blog so that I could have somewhere to unload my thoughts, and this has been bothering me for a while now.  I’m so sick of people biting their metaphorical tongues just because they’re afraid of offending someone.

Before all this I felt alone, stranded on an island with only my thoughts to keep me company and no one to share them with.  I had all these things I had to say and no one I felt I could say them to, so when I found this place and these people you can imagine the relief I felt in my heart.  I’d finally found somewhere I could speak my mind and have other people do the same, a place where the silence didn’t exist.

Please don’t take that away from me now.

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “Fucking Like

    1. Exactly! It’s quite confusing too, because you’re never sure if it’s simply a matter of them not wanting to offend you, or if it really was just “good”. You just want to grab them by the shoulders and scream “tell me what you really think!”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yep! And they always have things to say about other books too so it’s like they have to have some opinion, even just a little criticism. I’m not asking for editing, but criticism is important.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I am going to give you the same advice I gave to our mutual friend “bookobsessed.”

        Go by your gut. What I have learned over the years is that writing groups can be useless and confusing. Let me explain why.

        You submit a novel for critique. Person One goes, “This is great, but to make it better you need to do A, B and C.” And all those ideas sound good to you.

        Then Person Two says, “Great story…but to make it better you need to do D, E, and F.” So their suggestions sound good too, but wait a minute! If you were to implement D, E, and F, then they would CONTRADICT changes A, B, and C!

        Great! Now what???!?!?!?!? You’re back at square one, with no idea how to make your story better!

        I wrote a novel back in 2012. Upon reading back over it, I realized there was a good 15-20 pages that felt like filler. (They didn’t feel that way at the time I wrote it, but…that’s another story.) So if I remove those pages, this story will no longer be at novel length. I have to replace it with something, but what???

        I had no idea.

        So you know what I did?

        I did NOT submit it to fellow authors for critique.

        I sat on that mofo until I figured it out myself. It took me FOUR YEARS, but I finally hit it out of the park.

        This is my opinion: writing groups might jog you out of a writer’s block, but more often than not what’s going on is people are suggesting you write the story according to THEIR vision of what makes a good story. But it’s NOT their story…it’s yours!!!

        Anyway, that is my take on things.

        ~~~~~Steve

        Like

      3. I completely agree with that, and I definitely think the final decision needs to be your own, but a little advice can oftentimes be a great stepping stone. Of course like you said there is a thin line between asking someone for advice and letting their vision shape your story, so you do need to be sure it feels right before going along with it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I fully understand what you mean and I feel the same way. I haven’t been around to see your novel, but I’ll give it a read as soon as I get the chance and I’ll give you the feedback you’re looking for. It’s only right to return the favor, since you’ve done so for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, consider me chastised!

    I do know this frustration, but I think there can be lots of reasons why people don’t leave a comment, many of them nothing to do with your work. A like is still a like: an interaction from someone who has read your post and enjoyed it.

    I feel bad that I didn’t give you proper feedback on the last couple of chapters, especially after you asked for a constructive critique and you always make an effort to interact with mine. Please don’t take it as a negative reflection on what you have written. I will return to it when I have more spoons, I promise.

    Like

    1. Oh now don’t feel chastised, I know I tend to overreact, and that there’s often a pretty big distinction between what I feel and what is real, but it’s important to me that I use the blog to voice my thoughts. Allowing things to fester under the surface and build up into resentments is what drove me away from my friends in the real-world, and I don’t want to let that happen again.

      Like

  3. I understand your frustration. Many years ago, I decided to perform an 18-song concept album I had written at one of my solo acoustic gigs. Mind you, the songs are meant to be performed by a 2 guitar-bass-drums band. It is an over the top, cinematic body of songs…imagine crossing THE WALL with MELLON COLLIE AND THE INFINITE SADNESS and the bombast of any given Queen record, and you’re getting close.

    Anyway, there was applause after maybe the first three songs. Then, when they started to get more complex, do you know what I was greeted with?

    Silence.

    After song 6, I wanted to pack up and go home. But I didn’t. I played that fucker right until the end.

    Stick with it. Someone will appreciate it. Or hate it. Hell, until you came along, the comments on our comic were few and far between.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pressing a little virtual “like” button is pointless when viewed from one angle, but to those of us who don’t abuse it and sometimes feel that a comment is superfluous, it’s the best we’ve got in this venue. I follow quite a few bloggers and the simple law of averages dictates that I don’t necessarily like every single post I read. So, if I read a post by someone whose work I normally enjoy but this particular one doesn’t do anything for me, I don’t give them that like. Personally, as regards my reaction to your story, I haven’t found anything worth mentioning in a critical way and I don’t see the point in racking my brain to find one little perceived flaw to mention. It’s thoroughly engaging and very, very well-written. However, as I pointed out at the onset, each installment is very long compared to what most readers expect from blog posts. That doesn’t bother me, but as your posts usually appear when I’m at work, I either have time to really read and absorb the installment OR casually scan it, miss the nuance and details, and leave a comment. I prefer option 1 and therefore, that’s how I’ve been taking it in. When I read any book that I enjoy, I rarely stop to comment.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s completely fair, and like I said to OrchidsLantern I know most of this is an overreaction, but it was important to me that I address the issue rather than give the voices fuel for the fire. Now that I’ve gotten it out of the way (not to mention heard your sides of the story, so to speak) I’m feeling a lot better about the whole thing. I hope I haven’t offended either of you by putting you on the spot, but I really felt the need to say something and put the matter to rest.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to agree with desertcurmudgeon. While your writing is engaging, these ARE a lot longer than the average blog post. Most of them run 500-750 words, maybe 1000 at best.

        Still, this is your show. You’re naturally free to post as you see fit. I’m just giving you a heads up from my own experience that “longer post = fewer likes or comments.” It is basic blogging math. LOL

        I can remember writing blog posts that were just stupid one-liners…me being silly…and they got flooded with hits. Then I write something long, deep, heartfelt, and philosophical…and it’s crickets.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah I gave up trying to cater to a new audience a long time ago, mostly now I just sort of post what I want. Fortunately enough I do have three or so awesome friends who keep coming back for God knows what reason, so they pretty much make up the bulk of my readers :P
        I’ll maybe have to think about cutting the sections down though, which sucks because I wanted them read as intended, i.e. in book form (or at least as close to that as I can accomplish on a blog). Still, it might be for the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I guess it depends what kind of result you want.

    If you want people to read it as intended, then why not make an offer to them? Something like: “Do you enjoy this story? Would you prefer to read it all at once as intended? Then send me $1.50 through Paypal, and I will send you the entire novel in a PDF!”

    PS: I don’t believe there is anything wrong or sinful in wanting to make some money from writing. To me, it doesn’t diminish a person’s artistic integrity at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, that’s actually not a bad idea. Too bad the novel’s not really close to completion yet :P
      I started sharing what I had just to see what other people thought, and to get a sense of whether or not anything needed to change before I went any further.
      BUT I will definitely try to make some money off of my writing once it’s completed, haha.

      Like

  6. Unfortunately, I am really behind on reading blogs and haven’t read any of your chapters yet – but I will. And I will do my best to give you feedback, but please know, I think what you do is excellent and I encourage you to keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ‘Likes’ also help you keep track of how many people you’re reaching. On the ‘Stats’ page you see a graph of how many people visit your blog in proportion to how many people actually read and like each post. This is important to gauge if your work is read-worthy. If you get a lot of visitors, but no one is Liking or commenting it means you’re not getting across. If so, you might want to adapt your style or presentation. I use WordPress as a barometer for my work to determine if it’s ready for self-publishing or sending to a publisher. It’s a sort of digital ‘editor’ since I don’t have a real person to review my work. An app that serves this function is Grammarly, and also Pro Writing Aid. Each one can be harsh, as they use Artificial Intelligence, but so can a human editor be unbending. I prefer the electronic variety because I can ignore it’s advice; or learn from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See I’m cool with them being used in that sense; as a gauge of how many people have read (and liked) your work. But I’d rather have one comment and no likes than ten likes and no comments. I guess it depends on what you want, but I really want to reach people, you know? I don’t mean the numbers, but the people themselves. I want my work to have an impact that goes beyond receiving a like; I want it to get them thinking.
      I don’t know, maybe I’m just being picky, but that’s how I feel.
      Yeah, I’m not too worried about things like grammar or spelling (they’ll fix that in post, haha) so much as I’m worried about flow and coherence and just generally making sense. If I’ve forgotten to explain some crucial detail and as such the rest of the plot doesn’t make sense, an electronic app won’t pick up on that, but a human will.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s