Critic’s guilt

I decided for myself I’m something of a critic when it comes to occult and new age writing. Nobody else named me, I just dubbed it on myself, and now I live with the consequences. When at last I myself issue a book into the wild, I’m positive that no one will hold back. It’s scary. I already know for a fact I mortally offended one pagan author for choosing a path other than praise for one of her books. It was in no way an assessment of her character; really, she’s very sweet. But her book had a few failings and raised a few questions, and I pointed them out. It’s what I’m here to do. I feel bad about hurting her feelings, but speaking out about the book was a matter of conscience.

My conscience has an obnoxious habit of winning. For some reason my deepest mind rates honesty over kindness, which I realize is the inverse from the way most people work. I have wished so many times it was the other way around.

So when I see a work that someone obviously cared about, put their passion into and laid it – and themselves – vulnerable to the world, I cringe a little deep down when I feel compelled to write “this is bad” or “this has some serious problems.” It’s been happening less lately  – I try to choose books I believe will be good, even though good reviews are much harder to write than bad ones. I know my bad reviews get read; they’re the most entertaining. But I don’t like feeding the fairies Troll and Snark. They gorge on daily life as it is.

Truly, I want everyone’s work to be good. But sometimes, it just isn’t.