Being a reviewer

Source: Wikimedia commons
La Grammaire, Paul Sérusier, 1892 | Source: Wikimedia commons

I review books. I have done so since April 2012. Where that idea came from is a puzzle. There is such a huge amount of review blogs, it seemed wasteful to add another. But the thought kept nagging. Choosing a platform (WordPress, obviously) was based on how comfortable I felt with the product. Some time was spent familiarizing myself with the how’s of blogging (not finished learning yet) and setting things up. humanitysdarkerside was set to go. Writing my first post was frightening.

Writing posts was/is a struggle for me. In the beginning I had absolutely no idea what reviewing books was about. Looking at other reviewers out there helped, but everything I tried felt unsatisfactory. Even so, I kept on slogging along hoping I would have an epiphany. No revelation for me, though. Instead a slow realization that my individual voice might be worth reading occurred. I hadn’t seen any ASD/Aspergers voices out there talking about fantasy/science fiction. They might exist, but I haven’t come across them. Until I started using my experience to talk about my books, humanitysdarkerside seemed to be in a no-woman’s-land.

Then I started writing a post about Zane Grey, and it kept on growing and growing and growing until it was much too long for a blog post. So I did what any sensible ASD would do and created another blog, this one called ZaneGreyandMe. It contains anything and everything I am able to dig up about the romances (later called Westerns) Zane Grey wrote. That is the kind of blog I did not know I dreamed about creating. But the work. Oh, the work. Along the way I have learned a great deal about Internet etiquette and copyright. I’m still having to go back and correct such mistakes.

Finally, I gave up on having Terry Pratchett on my regular blog. I am a fan of his stories. A true blue fan. Which is why I had so much about his writing on humanitysdarkerside. Instead I brought TerryPratchettandMe to life. Much as ZGM, TPM is a blog about Pratchett’s stories and the trivia seen from an ASD/Aspergers’ point of view. I’m pretty certain I have gone overboard with my blogging, but such is life.

Ambivalent is most likely the word that best describes my feelings towards writing. Getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper is a struggle every single time. What I start out writing is NEVER what I end up with. Sometimes the post changes completely. This one certainly has. But I need to write. Go figure. If anything, my admiration for serious authors has increased immensely. I have gotten to beta for a couple and being part of their thought process has been an honor.

One author claimed I was being too nice to her, but I did not feel I was. I just do not see any point in bashing a person who obviously had tried their best. Showing areas that need to improve does not have to be cruel. Sometimes I do not write about a book after a review request. If their writing is terrible or even gruesome (have had some of those), I send them a personal mail explaining why I could not write about the book on my blog.

Most of my reviews are on books I want to write about. I seldom receive requests, but read ALL the time. Perhaps that is my main reason for having three review blogs – my love of the written word.

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