265 Following

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
Christopher L. Hayes
Progress: 17/304 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Progress: 96/454 pages
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. Kendi
Progress: 22/750 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer

Commentary on Writer Meltdowns

The past several weeks have been rather, shall we say, challenging for me, which is why I haven't kept up my blogging quite as regularly as I would have liked.  Two separate writing projects have demanded my time and concentration, as well as other aspects of real life.  Right now, however, I am facing the prospect of about a week tending a dog recuperating from surgery, so I'll probably have a lot of time at the desk and computer to catch up.


One of the issues that's been brought home to me in some rather startling ways is this whole issue of writers wailing that their books are their babies.  They seem to use this claim as a justification for both outrage over negative book reviews and outright attacks (usually verbal rather than physical) on the reviewers. 


This is not a new phenomenon.  Writers have been dissing critics just about as long as there have been writers and critics.  My own experience goes back just around 30 years to my early days in Romance Writers of America and judging RWA contest entries.  In face-to-face critique groups and online groups, along with one-on-one evaluations, responses to criticism ranged from "You're right; I need to fix that" to "It's my book and I'll write it the way I want to!  Who are you to tell me how to write my book?"


After this more recent brouhaha over critical reviews which escalated to the point of reviewers receiving death threats, I wondered what is it that makes some writers react to criticism of their writing with such intensely personal outrage.  The reviewers don't know the writers; all they're doing is commenting on their reaction to the book.  And yet the writers take it so very personally.  Why?


(Full commentary at http://lindahilton.blogspot.com/2015/02/separation-of-words-and-self.html)