All the talk recently about the first two women to graduate from the
US Army Ranger School made me reminisce about my time in Ranger school,
37 years ago. Where to begin. Well, it was hard. Historically the
graduation rate is around 50 percent, and most quit within the first few
days, which surprised me. To apply for Ranger school you have to be
recommended by your cadre or your commander, plus you have to surpass
the prerequisites for physical fitness and military skills. Basically,
you have to convince everyone that you're the kind of demented,
hard-headed kook who could make it through the nine weeks of anguish.
Before you left for the school, you are briefed by recent graduates
about what to expect. I remember listening to their litany of misery and
asking, "Didn't you do anything fun?" The two Rangers looked at me like
I'd grown an extra head. I did spend the month before I was to report
for the school toughing myself up. Besides my usual routin…
It's common wisdom out there that authors shouldn't respond to negative reviews. Well, that depends. The wrong response can certainly lead to a lot of authorly regret. What kind of response is an author likely to regret? I've noticed pretty much any online response, but especially any kind of scathing, angry or "corrective of wrong thoughts" or "just trying to be helpful" rebuttals; even certain types of clarifications can lead to a kerfluffle spiral of authorly regret.
Really, a review is simply a report of one person's subjective experience of a book. It's good for authors that there are reviewers out there taking the time to report honestly about their experiences. But a pesky thing about other people's experiences is that you can't change them! If it were possible to change other people's experiences, I guarantee you, my husband and I would be going out to see a lot more romantic comedy movies.