My reading and writing pet peeves

Well maybe they aren’t exactly pet peeves but they are things I’ve been noticing more and more lately. Things that are beginning to bother me a bit. Not enough to spend sleepless nights worrying about, but enough to inspire me to write about them today. By the way my sleepless nights are spent worrying about my own writing, not anyone else s.

I read a lot, I read just about everything and anything. I’ll try just about any genre, some I like, some I do not, but I will try them at least once. I have an enormous collection of books, possibly over 5000, haven’t counted them lately. I also have a kindle with almost a 1000 books loaded on it. I read a lot.

What has been bugging me lately are the reviews. I don’t really put much stock in them but I do browse through them. And I have been wondering lately, are all reviewers book critics, editors, publishers or just wannabes. Just about every review is about the editing of the books.

As a writer I used to worry about this. Am I editing my stories enough, too much. Do I need a professional to read my stories. I can’t afford a professional. I’ll never be published, I can’t afford it. I can’t self publish everyone will tear it apart, it wasn’t edited right. I have too many spelling mistakes. (which I don’t because I love spell check)

That got me thinking one day, how many of the great classics would be published if they were written now. Dickens? Poe? Melville?

Which sent me looking! I was amazed, I knew Poe published his own because no one would touch his works. I didn’t know Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Beatrix Potter, Zane Grey, Upton Sinclair, Mark Twain, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Stephen Crane, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman and Alexandre Dumas were all self published. Well, I did know Thoreau, Whitman and Franklin published their own stuff but the rest were a surprise.

Even more surprising were the famous authors who were repeatedly rejected before they finally made it. Joseph Heller had 22 rejections before he finally published “Catch-22”.

I think I like the reviewers that simply state. “I didn’t like the book.” rather than the ones who think they have to critic the editing, the story line, the character development, the typos, and everything in between.

It just makes me wonder, are we living in such a time that everything has to be perfect or are we just becoming so critical of everything?

Personally, I prefer a book with a few mistakes, a few typos, a few flaw, after all authors are just human and we all make mistakes. Just my thoughts, now I can go back to worrying about my own writing!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “My reading and writing pet peeves

  1. Well, the problem is: Where do you draw the line? I mean, some books have a horrible amount of mistakes. I also find it respectful to the reader that a book be edited. Edits are not over the top expensive and after a few of your friends have read the manuscript you should know if the book’s worth investing the money in for the edit.

    If books have a great story and they have a few mistakes that’s fine. If they have no mistakes, well, that’s even better. Just be patient, get your hands on the money for the edit, and make a good book an excellent book. Property developer employ architects, builder, plumbers, electricity and the rest. Any form of development needs the same attention.

    Cheers,
    Gaston.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I do appreciate them. I do agree with you, personally I do like books better with out errors, but on that particular day I had been looking at books for the kindle and it seems that the only comment anyone was making that day was about how terrible all the books were edited.

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