7.9.16

Hi. My Name is Nicki, and I'm a Book Quitter #IWSG


I used to be the kind of reader who'd see a book through to the bitter end, even if I didn't like it. I don't do that anymore. There are just too many good books out there waiting for me. I can't waste time on a book I'm not enjoying. I called time of death on the book above at 106 pages in. This is me returning it early.

Does this seem like bad form for a writer? Should I have more compassion for the author's efforts and keep on reading even when I'm not having fun? Instead of becoming more lenient on books since I started writing my own, I feel like I have less patience with them. How about you?

On a related note - and the thing that has me paranoid this month - I posted a two star review for the book above. As a published author, have I broken an unwritten law? Should I only post reviews for books I can honestly give 3 stars or above?

And now for the IWSG question of the month:
How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Um, yeah, so mostly I don't. Weekends are my writing time because that's when I can set aside big chunks of time for it. Writing in short spurts doesn't work for be because it often takes me 30-45 minutes just to warm up. BUT when I have to make more headway on a project, I find that committing to 90 minutes of Internet-free writing time every day is effective.

Each night I have to look at what's planned for the next day and figure out where my 90 minutes will fit. Sometimes that means setting the alarm for extra early. Sometimes that means committing to the 90 minutes even when I'm dog tired from a hectic day at work.



This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.

18 comments:

Jennifer Lane said...

Your INTERNET FREE time is genius! And productive.

I'm a total book quitter. Our time is too valuable to waste on a book that isn't a good fit, in my opinion.

Crystal Collier said...

Turning of the internet helps some people. Not me. I fact check as I go. Isn't it crazy how differently we all function?

I have less tolerance for books too, which makes the gems that much more amazing.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I used to feel like I had to finish every book I started reading, too. Now I give it a chunk of pages and if I'm not feeling it, I stop. It doesn't mean the book is terrible or anything - it just means it didn't speak to me for some reason.

Great idea on the internet free writing time!

Arlee Bird said...

I'm obsessive when it comes to finishing a book I've started. This is partly why I don't get many books read.

When reviewing a book I think a person is performing a service where they have an obligation to be truthful. I would rather see reviews for book (or any other product) that include a range of different reviews. All good reviews seem suspect to me. Your review seemed very fair to me and it seems like a lot of other folks agreed with your assessment.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Charly Marlowe said...

I figure that if an author can't capture my interest by the end of chapter three, it's not worth plowing through to see what happens.

emaginette said...

I say go with what works for you and don't worry about the rest.

And I've put a few books down in my time. Now that I write, am I more critical or are more books being published with little quality control? I don't know. What I do know is there are million, or gazillions of good books out there and only one me to read them all. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

That's the biggest problem with working with other authors. Someone asks if you'll review their book, and you don't like it. What to do?! I struggle with this a lot. I try to say something nice, but I have nightmares worrying about what they'll think if I give their novel a 3-star when it only deserved a 2. I don't have an answer, Nicki. Wish I did. I've fallen short of doing reviews for this very reason.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I quit books! Life is too short for bad books.
I'll only post three stars and above, but that's also because I quit the bad books early.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I rarely quit books, but that's because I usually don't even start one unless I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it.

As for reviewing books, it's a slippery slope. I can usually find something nice to say about just about anything, so I don't mind that. And rating systems are extremely subjective and based on my expectations, rather than true hard comparisons. Plus, you can get really good books that you don't like, or bad books that you do, so how do you rate that?

My point is that if I get what I'm expecting out of a book, or even better if it exceeds my expectations, then I will usually give it a good review.

IWSG September

Juneta Key said...

If the book is bad I don't bother to review or finish. I mean finishing is not going to me like it better or give it better review. Its written and I am not enjoying it. They ain't gonna rewrite for a better review.

I think 3 stars "is not" a bad review even if its not the best. I say always be honest, writer or not, be authentic. If you wrote the review you must have felt the author needed to know and maybe they will learn from and take it to heart and put more thought into the next book. When we write a book we make a promise to the reader and we need to know when readers think we really did not deliver or dropped the ball.

Sounds do me like you are doing well with your writing time. What matters is that you are doing some writing.

Michael Di Gesu said...

No....

I quit,too. I started about three years ago. My time is sooooo limited, I am not wasting it on a book I am not enjoying...

Finally finished the loft. YAY! Drop by my blog to see the pics when you get a chance... It's going on the market next week.

Cherie Colyer said...

I quit books too. Life it too short to read something you aren't enjoying. Plus, reading is a way to escape to new adventures and worlds. Who wants to be stuck somewhere they hate?

Having internet-free time is smart. I try not to look at the internet when I'm writing. Otherwise, before I know it, I'll have lost too much time.

C.G. Coppola said...

You have to make the time. I strive to get a day job without a lot of mental stress so I can focus on writing when I get home. But even on the stressful days, I still force myself. You've just got to want it bad enough.

Lee Lowery said...

Total book quitter and skipper-to-the-ender if I'm not interested by page 30. My writing time is also internet-free. Otherwise I find myself on long side trips of "research." One and two star ratings are tough. But some books deserve them. Even some best sellers. If a book doesn't have some low reviews, I tend to suspect that the good ones have been purchased.

Julie Flanders said...

I have always been a book quitter and that hasn't changed since I started writing. I've never had the patience to sit through something I'm not enjoying. Honestly if a book, movie, tv show doesn't grab me fairly quickly it's a safe bet I'll be saying goodbye to it.

Love your idea of internet free time!! THAT'S what I really need to try.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

If a book doesn't interest in the first couple chapters it's not likely to get any better, since the beginning should be the most polished and the place designed to capture a reader. I can tell pretty fast if the writer's voice is enjoyable to me. If so, I'll stay with it longer just to see. If I don't like the narrative voice I can't stick with a book for even a chapter or two.

Michelle Wallace said...

I've never been a book quitter.
However, I'm sitting with this very problem at the moment...do I read to the end of a book (means I'd have to give a low rating) which has failed to capture my imagination, or do I just let it go (means I don't have to review and give the poor rating)?!
It's a learning curve...

dolorah said...

I have also become a book quitter. So many authors out there turning out a cookie-cutter book a month; so little substance but using all the popular cliche'd lingo. Being an author, I know how hard it is to be unique in this world, so I don't feel guilty putting down a book I don't enjoy.