Monthly Archives: February 2012

When someone’s writing makes you angry


I have a book I was planning on reviewing. It was a short, self-published piece, mostly anecdotal but with some references and information. It was recommended by a few non-profit organizations and it available for free on Kindle. I downloaded it and a few weeks later sat down and read it.

And it made me very, very angry.

It made the writer in me angry because it was terribly written and didn’t even look like it had been proof-read once. Twice she wrote that paper was lamented instead of laminated. That writer is angry that it’s getting 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon and my book hasn’t even gotten a review (yes, there’s a little jealousy in there, too). It made the self-publisher in me angry because it rubs a thick smear of shit over what we do giving the reading public a reason to overlook our hard work because some incompetent thought writing was easy. It made the parent in me angry because the resources were inaccurate and incomplete and twice she failed to capitalize her son’s name. Pair that up with the constant contradiction of statements (including the title) and I fly into a rage at the mere thought of the book. It made the Autistic mother in me pissed for those same inaccuracies, biased opinions and dreadful lack of detail and not researched *resources* spouted in blurbs as “resources, techniques and other different advice” and promoted by what should be reliable organizations.

Every single time I sit down to write this review the anger boils up from deep inside and I want to meet the author so I can throw my ebook at her head.

And she has plans to write a sequel in a few years. God help us all.

I have NEVER been this angry over a book I’ve read. I try to always see the positives in whatever I read because I feel empathy for the writer, to have the dedication to sit down and write a story and the balls to put it out there in the scrutinizing public’s eye. Even if I do not like the story, the writing, the style, the characters, even if it’s chock full of writing errors, I try to be kind. I give myself a few days to sit with the story, to give my brain a chance to pick out the things I enjoyed and I always, ALWAYS, find something however remotely positive to say about it.

Because us writers are in this together and I prefer constructive criticism to emotion filled destruction.

It’s been over a week and I’m still fuming. I’ve vented to my husband (who literally listened to every single problem I ranted over in just about every single sentence as I read it). I’ve vented to a fellow writer. And I am just as mad now as I was the first time my eyes rolled over the disjointed words, contradictions and egregious use of the semi-colon.

Should I wait until I can sit down, detached from my feelings and write a prettier, nicer review than the torrential downpour of anger that is sitting on the tip of my fingertips ready to pound fury into the keys? Or should I go ahead and let it come out? Or maybe just not even write the review at all?

Ideas and constructive criticism are always welcomed here.