Reviews are a funny thing. As authors we want them and we don’t want them. We love the five star, lovely, generous ones but no matter how many of those we get the 1 star, critical ones shake our confidence a bit. I read one such review yesterday and it got me thinking. Why do we crave reviews? Why do we sometimes purposefully search them out as if we need a boost , a pat on the back, a ‘way to go’ type of motivation for doing what we do. When I consider this I see it as more than just what author’s do but see it as what we all do as human beings. We crave approval, validation and encouragement and it is so nice when we receive it. But when the review isn’t all good or even when it is all bad the positive stuff fades and we allow the negative to take over. Now I certainly know that none of us deserve accolades and approval for everything we do. I used to get frustrated with my mother when she would load on the compliments and I felt they weren’t genuine or deserved. I would tell her she was just saying that because I was her daughter. The realistic fact is we all mess up, we have shortcomings. We are not perfect. So suck it up ,move on and keep trying to do the best you can. Back to the review I stumbled on that started this thread of thought. The review was for Ten Thousand Truths. Ten Thousand Truths is near and dear to my heart right now since I just spent the last two weeks with the characters while working on edits for Jasper’s Road, a follow-up novel. The writer of the review said it was page after page of more chores and more food. In giving that more thought I decided I would take that as a compliment instead of a criticism. Amelia’s whole approach to caring for kids was to give them purpose and belonging(chores) and to nurture them with love and caring (food) Now to say Ten Thousand Truths was just chores and food dismisses the depth of a moonlit night when staring at the vast array of stars Rachel is overwhelmed with a memory of her lost brother, a heartfelt account of a man impacted by his mother’s murder, a trip across Canada by a reclusive woman who has not left home for thirty years, a reuniting of a daughter and her recovering father, an amazing woman who dedicated her life to caring for neglected and troubled kids, tea at the Empress Hotel. Now I could go on but what I’m getting to is I believe very strongly that a good story can contain the mundane everyday stuff of life with the sorrows, joys, triumphs and challenges thrown in. I don’t think you need a buried treasure, a space creature invasion, zombies or some other major drama to make a good story. Or make a well lived life for that matter. I think it is the day to day stuff , the human interaction, the effort and caring that matter. All this being said , bad reviews are very helpful. They make us pay closer attention and not rest on our laurels. They make us try harder. Today let’s cling to the good reviews and be generous with our own reviews. Let’s do our chores and prepare the meals lovingly and with deep purpose. Let’s be thankful and kind!