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rogue planet
rogue planet
You're helping me write space opera, cosmic horror, action/adventure stories... and tell you about Plato, Kant, and Heidegger.
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Displaying posts with tag Creativity.Reset Filter
rogue planet
Public post

Should authors care about reader feedback?

Authors care too much about what unimportant people think

Do you care about the reviews on your books?

Do you obsess over one-star reviews on Goodreads? Are you losing sleep because somebody didn't like your book?

Before I get into this post, if you've got a minute, listen to this bit from shock-jock Howard Stern:

Love Howard or hate him, doesn't matter your feelings about the man himself.

Listen to the attitude.

He knows that his value as a creator is not about responding to what his fans think.

He didn't build the brand of Howard Stern by asking his listeners what he should do better.

He did it by being Howard Stern.

HOWARD: The way that I was an innovator was to IGNORE the feedback.

If you make things and send them out into the world, you must understand this.

Get it tattooed somewhere if that will help you. But remember this.

You are not in the game of responding to feedback from the audience.

Reader reviews are like the rules in a game

Imagine you're off on a relaxing vacation.

You meet a group of friendly strangers who invite you to play a game of Monopoly.

After a few moves, you make a couple of bad deals and you're on the hook for a lot of money.

Are you on the hook for your bad investment in the Short Line railroad?

No way. It's just a game.

A group of people got together and agreed to obey these rules until somebody won or flipped over the board.

What would you think of somebody that treated the game as if it were a real part of his life? Everybody else picked up and moved on, but this guy's still acting like you owe him rent on Park Place.

You'd think he was pulling your leg, or a total nutcase.

The game's rules only matter as long as you're playing.

When you stop, nobody cares.

Feedback from your readers is no different.

It only matters if you're playing the game.

What game are you playing as a writer?

Are you a writer because you need everyone everywhere to like your work?

I won't speak for anyone else, but I write for me.

If you like my work, great. If you don't care for it, it wasn't for you. No problem.

I'm not playing the game of "everybody please like me".

My game is "I write what I want to write"

Don't get me wrong. A good review is always a boost to the ego. A bad review can sting, even if it's one of those one-star reviews from a person who couldn't make ice in Antarctica.

But you must remember one thing...

Your response is your responsibility

If you aren't playing Monopoly, then it doesn't matter if you landed on "Go to Jail".

The police aren't going to come arrest you.

Things happen. Nobody can control that.

Whether things matter is your call. Not me, not the cliques on social media, not the cartels of reviewers.

Their power begins and ends with your decision to give them attention.

If you don't play the game of "reader feedback" then you don't have to play by its rules.

PS – If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe? That way you can receive them directly in your inbox... and you'll get the members-only posts.

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rogue planet
Public post

How the "music meltdown" of the 90s made everyone miserable

Keep your head clean and clear with the inspiring music of 80s

The words in your mind are the laws of your world

A couple of days ago Vox Day put up this excellent post about how words shape our reality:

... this is why relentless positivity of mind, the determined avoidance of negativity, and the refusal to live in fear are vital for the Christian. It's also important to pay attention to the lyrics of the music one listens to; classical music is much better for your mental and spiritual health than imprinting your mind with emo goths droning about how unhappy they are or metal gammas screaming about how they hate the world because everyone hates them.

Skeptical? Test it. The next time it's late at night and you're feeling down, or feeling afraid, or wallowing in self-pity, listen to the following three songs. Crank them up. Sing along. Then measure how you feel versus how you were feeling previously.

  • Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
  • Move Any Mountain by The Shamen
  • Indestructible by Disturbed

He's absolutely right.

The words that you let into your mental space shape what you think and feel.

You can't separate your experience from the words that you have available to describe it.

That rabbit hole runs deep indeed.

It starts with an assumption about the mind's place in the world.

Today's materialist has a simple-minded take on psychology

Over here, there's stuff. Medium sized dry goods plus a system of weights and measures.

Over there, we have you, the observer. Touch feely experience.

That divide between the subject and the object is an influential piece of modernist dogma. Minds and bodies, fact and feeling, they are classified into separate boxes.

This is not a scientific conclusion, I should add. It's entirely the work of philosophers who reasoned their way to it. Science, and more precisely the materialist metaphysics behind atheist naturalism, supposes the division between mind and world -- it does not prove or argue for it.

This is despite generations of philosophers and artists telling us that human beings aren't passive observers of reality. We are also active participants in the world.

What we find is partly made. By making, we also discover.

Aristotle knew this all the way back in the 4th century BC.

Modern science has had to play catch up. Quantum physics already has a problem getting a handle on the influence of the observer on the observed reality.

Then there's all the work on complex self-organizing systems which brings up its own set of observer problems.

Human minds don't just take in information like a camera watching a game from the sidelines. We're out on the field playing ball.

But that's all high-minded abstract stuff. What's this got to do with music?

The quality of your music is the quality of your life

Your Host grew up with 90's grunge on MTV, back when MTV still played music. Lots of anger, angst, and depressive lyrics.

It seemed normal. Why wouldn't it?

The goldfish doesn't notice the water.

When you don't know any different, you take what you're given.

But after a deep dive into soundtracks to 80s movies and TV, it hit me square in the face.

These old songs were full of positive, inspirational, uplifting and encouraging lyrics.

Even the hair-metal glam bands of the day had a (mostly) optimistic message.

By the mid-90s that was all gone

That upbeat music was replaced by angst-rock, violent hip-hop, and at the turn of the century, the auto-tuned bubble-gum pop that is everywhere to this day.

The causes of this are beyond this article. Author Brian Niemeier dates Cultural Ground Zero to 1997, and I'd suggest reading his posts on the subject if you wish further illumination.

The point of this modest post is to point to the effects of this on your mind.

When you shift from a cultural climate of sunny optimism to depressive whiny angst, what would you expect to happen?

Would you expect a jump in anxiety disorders and depression?

A spike in drug addictions?

Unprecedented levels of political polarization as people organize into friends and enemies?

A loss of social cohesion?

We could list symptoms all day long.

It's too quick by far to blame all this on the music. The music reflects the attitudes of the culture as much as anything does. But we'd have to be blind to the fact that the music also influences the culture. This isn't a one-way street.

Even the kinds of stories, and the kinds of heroes, have changed. The never-give-up grit of characters like Rocky are nowhere to be found. Instead we're given the snarky ironic anti-hero with few redeeming qualities.

Either way, for your own sake, you must understand this.

The words in your world you affect you on a level you can't consciously sense.

That "harmless" pop or hip-hop that you keep on in the background affects your mood in ways that you don't notice.

Then you wonder why you're miserable.

Filter that noise out of your mental world and replace it with beautiful & fine things

PS – If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe? That way you can receive them directly in your inbox... and you'll get the members-only posts.

There's no charge (yet) to subscribe as a free member.

==> Click Here to Join Now

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