On writing reviews and on writing words

So I’ve got myself a bit behind on my book reviews… or shall we say book recommendations?

After all, unless I liked a book and want to talk about it and want you to read it it’s probably not going to get a slot on the blog.

Which in part relates to a lot of chatter I’ve seen flying around on Twitter regarding negative reviews and reviewer integrity. I get it, some people would say that if you only post good reviews then how do you know they’re real reviews? If someone says everything is good then where’s their shades of grey?

And here’s why I’m at on the situation. I’m not here to bash other authors. I’m just not. If I don’t like a book, I’m probably not gonna be writing about it – there are some exceptions but it’s a general rule that kind of sticks. And I’m not saying that negative reviews are automatically author-bashing – negative reviews are part of life and let’s be honest it’s pretty clear if someone’s being a dick about something or not. There’s a difference between a negative review and walking into someone’s living room and calling them a shithead and punching their babies. If you can’t tell the difference then maybe that’s something to think about, just saying.

But I’m not interested in using my meagre platform (OMG, yes, I used the word platform, perhaps a more accurate description might be unstable ledge supporting a menagerie of accidental ideas) to talk about books I don’t like. I’m interested in bigging up the good stuff, in talking up the things that made me smile or cry or hide under the blankets. ‘Cos I write books too and I want to focus on the good shit.

And it’s also so subjective – some books just aren’t gonna work for me. Some books aren’t gonna be my literary cup of tea. Some books won’t work one day and then I’ll try them another day and think they’re fantastic (books with strong comedy elements often need my mood to match, but when it does they’re spot on). Some books are perfect for certain moods, for certain readerly hankerings. I’m also more inclined to DNF (do not finish) a book if it’s not working for me than I used to be – there’s too many books and too little time to plough through a book for no reason. So I’m just going to go ahead and talk about stuff I think is great here. And if you like them too then that’s awesome because it’s great to have good books to read, to have good books to talk about, and to share the fun reading times.

But my point, really, was that yes I’m behind on posting some reviews (for reference, Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers, Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and Lauren Beukes’ Afterland have been insanely awesome bookish company, watch this space for me spewing my love all over them), but this is because I have been trickling out BONA FIDE WORDS OF MY OWN. Words have been leaking from my fingertips and into word documents, and even [shifty look to camera left] been submitted to places where other people might see those words one day, perhaps, you never know.

And that is a nice feeling, finding the words again, playing with them, chilling with them, getting pissed and shooting the shit with them. And while those words are flowing I’m gonna go with those words and let them dictate the passing of the spare time. So reviews may need to wait for a few days (not too long though because OMG THEY WERE SOME AWESOME READS).

And word tinkering feels like such a good thing. Like hanging out with an old friend.

And while I’ve been finding my words again, while they’ve been eeking their way out of my brain, I’ve found some writing wallpaper goodness. I was never one for writing in cafes much, but the buzz of a street, especially neon lit streets, absolutely captures my current writing vibes. Also, feels slightly weird, because, erm, crowds, erm, let’s not think about it too much. There are a tonne of these videos on Rambalac’s YouTube channel and I am in love with them all.

So here’s just one of them. It’s almost hypnotic, it’s easy to lose hours to, it’s one of my new favourite things.

I recommend putting it on repeat and letting the background buzz take your mind places.

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