Yes, this fear is real.
I wrote my first book review in 2019. This is after decades of reading. It was only within the past three years that I even rated books. Why did it take me so long?
The main reason is because I didn’t think I could give a book the justice it deserved in my own words. Then I realized by not writing a review I was doing a disservice to the books I loved and the authors who wrote them.
How did I overcome this hurdle? I read other people’s reviews. Yes, some readers write these thought-provoking, beautiful book tributes. You know, the kind best served on a silver platter. But many others wrote why they liked the book and if they would recommend it—only in a few sentences.
I thought, okay, I can do this. Now my reviews may not be praiseworthy, but surely, they’re not trash-worthy either (well, I don’t think so anyway). I choose to write my reviews like I am talking to a friend.
I am also kind and positive. I write it as if the author is reading over my shoulder. Why? Aside from being good karma, it’s because this author is a real person who poured his/her soul onto paper—a very brave undertaking.
Here’s the thing—I don’t think authors are dissecting our reviews for flaws. They have better things to do (like write) than slash up our written thoughts with a red pen. Plus, most authors I know despise editing, so I think we’re safe. I would guess they are just grateful we took the time to write a review.
Am I right, authors?
There’s also a feeling of satisfaction and closure after writing a review. Don’t you think?
Thank you for reading.