Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. Aristotle

Goodreads which is now owned by Amazon was started by a couple who are now husband and wife, Otis Chandler and Elizabeth Khuri. It was launched in January 2007. It was founded as a way to see what is on other reader’s bookshelves.

I’ve been a member of Goodreads as a reader and now as an author. Some people aren’t happy with the rating system. I read a comment the other day a Goodreads member was complaining too many books have five stars.

I might be one of the guilty people. A five-star rating to me isn’t the best book I’ve ever read. If a book holds my attention and I finish it, spoke to me in some way, I remember it as a book worth reading, and I would recommend it, that’s a five-star book. The woman complaining was saying she thinks three stars is a really great book and reserves five stars for rare gems.

This is one of the things that happen in rating systems. We might consistently rate books but each reader has a different rating system. Some may focus on technique, others on story, pacing, imagery, emotion, or world-building.

We are in a very judgmental time and this is moving into every area of our lives. If someone reads my book, thank you very much. If they comment, thank you even more. I will try very hard not to take the comments personally. Good, on the nose criticism may help us improve way more than flowery praise even when it is hard to hear.

I’ve thought of putting a contest together to see who finds the most errors in my book. Then I can fix them. We don’t improve without seeing what is wrong and fixing it. When other people try to point us in the right direction we need to humbly realize we are not perfect and adjust accordingly.

One of the reasons many of us hesitate to put our work out into the world is because of the criticism we may get. We can’t help anyone through their struggle if we don’t share our own. One of the strengths of Toastmasters is our speeches are evaluated publicly. We are told what we did right and what we could improve upon. Everyone struggles with evaluations, giving and receiving them, but they help us improve and different evaluators give us different perspectives.

You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. John Wooden

I have never experienced it myself but I have heard that some Toastmasters did not come back after an evaluation. Was it particularly brutal or were they particularly sensitive?

One of the things I would love to do is attend book club sessions with members who have read my book. My book club did this with a local author, we loved it, and I believe so did she. Now over zoom, we don’t have to only have these sessions with local authors.

Writing and living is a growth opportunity. We learn by doing and getting feedback about what we’ve done. More is gained when an evaluator tells us we need more eye contact, effective gestures, use our voice to emphasize points, and write a better-organized speech than if they say that was lovely I don’t have any points you can improve on. We can all improve. As an evaluator, it can be hard to come up with something, but when we come up with what the speaker can work on, often the next speech is better.

If you read my novel please post a comment and tell me what was done right, what can be improved upon, and what you loved the most. I will try and make the next one better. Isn’t this what we all want, to see progress in our lives by doing something, and when we do it again, we do it better?

Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. Neil Gaiman

The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. Norman Vincent Peale

The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read the reviews. William Faulkner

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture, and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

Follow the Author

Belynda Wilson Thomas+ Follow

Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? Kindle Edition

by Belynda Wilson Thomas (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

 See all formats and editions