To Review or Not To Review?

A little over a week ago, I stated that I wanted to post on this blog daily. So far, I’ve lived up to that intention. And I feel pretty good about being able to keep up with it, even though there are moments when I stare into the yawning chasm of daily posts and tremble.

I’ve designated “Bad Poetry Friday” as one easy post, at least for now, and I am deeply sorry for that. And I know I could continue writing obnoxious know-it-all writing posts probably forever, even though I actually have no idea what I’m talking about. As much as I think sharing some personal stuff is a great way to connect with others, I’m also hesitant both out of natural human insecurity and because my personal life is not just my own, and I don’t want to implicate others in my desire to share. And while I have a lot of political opinions, I don’t want to risk alienating those who don’t agree (at least, not until I have something I really want to say).

So another idea for posts I’ve had is to review things—books (both writing-based and fiction), movies, and TV shows. As a creator-wannabe as well as a consumer, I have a lot of thoughts about other pieces of media and how they’re constructed as well as how they’re perceived. I’m certainly not an authority on anything, but as we all know, lack of authority has never resulted in a lack of opinion.

However, I have a few hesitations about reviews. The first is that I really don’t want to be negative, and I don’t know that I could ever be a fair and honest reviewer if I’m never negative when I want to be. I just can’t help but appreciate all the hard work that someone put into their creation even if I didn’t enjoy it or found some flaw, and the thought of putting that negativity out into the world worries me. There’s a bit of “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” too, because I know I’ll get bad reviews and while I’m preparing myself for that, I don’t really need to set myself up for the inevitable hypocrisy.

The second (and infinitely more ridiculous, prepare yourself) is that I intend to have a career… and you never know what might come back to bite you later. What if I write a bad review of a book and then meet that author/director/whatever in person? Now, obviously, they probably wouldn’t have read a silly review on my insignificant blog, but I just… From both a career and a personal standpoint, I believe that if you put out good vibes into the world you have a better chance of getting them back—and if you put out bad vibes and negativity? Well, that’s what you get.

The third is related to the last in that I intend this to someday be my professional blog and website. You know, when I stop talking about having a career and actually have one… a.k.a. never. And I don’t know that reviewing other works is the right kind of professional tone for me.

But I can’t ignore such an obvious and broad source of post ideas, and I think that examining other works can be immensely helpful for creators-to-be. I’m still not sure if I’ll ever post reviews, but if I do, I think I’ll frame them as “writer reviews.” They’ll examine the works from the standpoint of how they work, what they accomplish, aspects of genre or character or setting, etc. I may not always be able to stay away from my own opinion, particularly in the effectiveness of a certain element, and so I probably wouldn’t choose to look at a work that I really did not like. But I think that taking this approach might avoid some of my fears.

And I do like pretending to know it all… 🙂 It’s more fun than facing the fact that I know nothing.


About J. Sevick

Just write.
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