Read Lovely Books

To Pass Or Not To Pass? When A Writer

Last year around this time I was on a John Dickson Carr kick, seeking a break from

And I’d already read his “Hollow Man” — voted the best locked-room mystery ov all time — so

Over the course of ten days, I read nine of his Gideon Fell novels

And by the end of the ninth book — which happened to be the most poorly written of

No writer can produce equally good work every time, except for one-hit wonders, and they’re not

You’ve counted on the writer to keep delivering, and they do, until suddenly they don’t

There are different reasons why a book from a favourite writer might disappoint you

Maybe the book itself isn’t that good, which is perfectly possible

Maybe the book deals with a theme that’s uninteresting or emotionally triggering for you

Maybe you read a similar book just last week that happened to be written better

Of course, your opinion of the book as a reader is yours alone

But as a writer, I think there’s an important lesson to be taken away from this

They’re conscious of it right from the moment they lay down their pen to the time

Maybe they were going through something in their personal lives that made it difficult for them to

Writing well is as much about mental health and circumstances as it is about ability

And even if the writer doesn’t personally feel like their book isn’t the best, they’

Someday you’ll be the one crippled with doubt about what people are going to say about

You’ll never know whether one person felt like your book was their salvation means that someone

So before you diss the author of the disappointing book and vow to never read them again,

Reminding yourself that everyone can’t have successes all the time

As for the disappointing book itself? It’s perfectly fine to set it aside if you truly

And if you do decide to read it out of loyalty to the author? Go ahead

Evaluate it on its own merits, as you would any other book, but don’t let that

The writer is your favourite because they’ve given you reasons — more than one — to be thrilled

Or maybe you can give the book a fairer chance — come back to it after a while,

And by the time I came back, I was ready to be thrilled again