Discouraging words

We all talk a good game and pretend not to care, but every writer (including me) is desperately insecure regarding negative feedback. It comes with the territory when you put stuff out there, and developing a thicker skin is a survival mechanism. I’ve been writing in public for long enough now that it doesn’t bother me much to get bashed over record and concert reviews. There are times when it’s so far over the top that it’s funny — like how worked-up some people got over a John Mayer review five years ago (Seriously, people? John Mayer?). And in 2010, a record review prompted a torrent of rage from people who felt I wasn’t nearly gushy enough. Alas, that review’s online comments seem to have vanished into the ether. But the one I remember best is something I had as my Facebook profile-page tagline for a while:

Who is this David Menconi f—-r?

Still, that’s the dayjob. When what you’ve put out there is a labor of love you’ve poured everything into, you can’t help but feel every jab — even the little ones. “Losering” is still early in the press cycle, and the only “official” review to turn up so far was a nice one in Publishers Weekly. And while it wasn’t a review, I also got a little shout-out from San Antonio magazine.

I was feeling pretty good about that, along with some of the feedback from people I know who have read the book. But humility is always just a mouse click away. Last night, I was seeking a link for one of my upcoming readings when I came across the following, which surfaced a few months ago on someone’s blog after the book’s excerpt went online:

Well, it sounds like this person might actually buy the book, so that’s good. Still, typos (?) and some not-very-stellar writing…That was, um, not-very-stellar to see, thank ya very much. My first bad review! Kinda. Yay? Still, as long as I’ve been slinging barbs, I can take it.

But do tell: Would it be catty of me to point out the grammatical mistake in this dude’s first sentence?

Meow!

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2 thoughts on “Discouraging words

  1. Bevo Yabitch

    Allow me to retort. The “critic” begins with an admission that honesty on his/her part is an aberration. He/she then goes on to show a lack of understanding of the use of the hyphen in the first sentence (which you corrected), and an apparent inability to tell the difference between a hyphen and a dash in the second. As you allude to, the writer also lacks understanding of subject/verb agreement. The second sentence also contains a comma splice — using a comma where a semicolon is called for. And then there are the single quotes where “normal” double quotes should appear, not to mention his/her seeming inability to discern an open quote from a closed one. And finally, this “expert” betrays a fanaticism for Adams that might just be a bit off the rails, suggesting that a book titled “Ryan Adams’ Semen Tastes Grrrreat!” might have been more to his or her liking.

  2. Pingback: Ya can’t please ‘em all « LoseringBook

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