One of my side-gigs lately is writing online book reviews. The pay isn’t great, but I happen to love to read, and every day I’m offered a new free book for download. All I have to do is write my honest opinion about it. Getting paid is like a bonus since I only have to download a book I’d be interested in reading anyway.
If you’re a book reader, and especially one who’s an introvert, this site might be a match made in heaven. In addition to scoring a free book, there’s a pretty active forum for the book reviewers. We can vote on the book of the month, discuss each other’s reviews and reactions, and decide from someone’s review if we’d be interested in reading the book beyond the editor’s commentary. It’s a neat little online “club” that has valuable insights.
Well, a couple of books ago I had to read a really horrible book. It wasn’t awful; it made sense. It was just basic as hell.
The book was literally the stretch of a short story, spanned over 200+ pages. Most pages/chapters were one-sentence long. The message behind the story was OK. Nothing to rave about, but nothing to fuss over either. You can find my published review here. I believe it was my second or third one, so it’s rusty.
What I didn’t appreciate about the book until long after I read it is its simplicity. Hey, at least it got written and published, and exposed. That’s why I want to write, right? Am I getting in my own way?
It wasn’t complicated or wordy.
Here I am working at a screen nearly every day to complete a book I’ve always wanted to share with the public. Yet, I get caught up in thinking, “Is it good enough?”
The thing, though, might not be about whether it’s good or not. Is it written? Is it edited? Is it published?
That’s the dream.
Self-critique can hold us back from achieving our highest potential. We are usually the ones in our own way.
Or, let’s play devil’s advocate. Let’s say the project did turn out a disaster or wasn’t well-received, does a dream’s success depend on how we feel about what we did, or the opinion of others?
So I’m back at it. Some days are easier than others, but I’m deciding to stop judging my own dern book. I’ll let the club do that! (haha) My job is to write.
If there is something that you’ve been itching to do, are you critiquing your own work before it’s even complete?
We have got to get out of our own way. Otherwise, we’re just creating our own mental traffic jam that halts our ability to do anything substantial. And that’s a recipe for disaster, no matter what you’re creating.
Oh yea, and here’s the link for my published reviews! It’s free to join the club too — if you’re interested.