The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#138

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the December 06th posting of the IWSG are: are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

December 06th Question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

I always try to leave a review once I’ve finished a book. I can’t say that I plan a review with the author or the reader in mind – but I do not critique the author.
Reading taste is a funny thing. It varies from person to person, and also changes over the course of a person’s reading life. Reading is subjective and readers approach a book with a specific world view, as well as personal preferences and emotions. Remember that not all books will be to your taste and that’s okay. When leaving a review, try to be as honest as possible while keeping in mind that the author has labored over his/her ‘book baby.’ So don’t get personal. Somebody will love a book that you do not like.
It’s a fine balance to write an honest and fair review.

Happy IWSG Day!


  1. JQ Rose on December 6, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    You make a good point that our reading choices change over the year. I know mine have gone from reading mysteries, romance, and cozy mysteries, to memoirs and biographies. But I still gobble up writing craft/self-publishing books.

  2. Tyrean on December 6, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    So true. Reading is subjective and reviews are, too, so let’s leave good ones. 🙂

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh on December 6, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    Good point that our reading tastes change over the years.

  4. L. Diane Wolfe on December 6, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    Never get personal in a review. Then it’s an attack.

  5. Loni Townsend on December 6, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    Yes! You’ve hit the principles of leaving reviews head-on. I totally agree.

  6. Olga Godim on December 6, 2023 at 11:16 pm

    I do critique occasionally, when I don’t like something strongly enough to mention it. But I don’t do it for the author. I do it for the readers, and I always look for such tidbits in others’ reviews. They tell me more about the story than an unalloyed praise.

  7. Esther O'Neill on December 7, 2023 at 11:30 am

    True. In most cases, reviewers don’t know the author, only what they have written.
    Tread softly ?
    Tastes change, our circumstances change too, individually, globally.
    Like Diane’s advice about not getting personal.
    I will review again, but probably not if I know the author.

  8. Hilary Melton-Butcher on December 7, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Michelle – I really must learn to post reviews … they tend to take forever to put up – and I lose patience – laze me … note to self – to change as soon as I can. I have some to do – too … cheers and have a happy and peaceful Christmas … Hilary

  9. Patricia J.L. on December 7, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    Excellent advice.

  10. Anna on December 7, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Good advice. I’m beginning to think all reviews should start with a disclaimer: This is just one person’s opinion and since we are all different, everyone should make up their own minds about this.

    Or some other declaration. Just like I do when critiquing.

    Because I’m afraid to leave reviews for many reasons that I won’t go into here.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  11. tara tyler on December 18, 2023 at 10:06 pm

    I appreciate any reviews and I always try to say something positive with my review even if I didn’t enjoy it…
    Happy Holidays!

    Tara Tyler Talks

  12. H. R. Sinclair on December 20, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    It’s so true how our preference change, not only in genre but tropes and little things in books too.

  13. IB on February 14, 2024 at 8:34 pm

    It is funny how our reading interests change. As a teen, I didn’t enjoy reading novels. I subscribed to several magazines, Thrasher, Rolling Stone and Spin were always anticipated, as well as several graphic novels. As I matured, these easy reads lost luster and I started getting into fantasy and alternate worlds, and it is what I still enjoy now. I am Nate and have started making the rounds for the IWSG. Hope all is well!

  14. Louise (Fundy blue) on April 3, 2024 at 7:55 pm

    Hi, Michelle! Just stopping by for IWSG Day. I hope all is well with you!

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