I’ve decided that I hate the whole ‘rating’ system for books. Yes, it feels good to get positive feedback from people, but I didn’t write Minor King so that it could be rated. I wrote it to A) share a story, and B) prove to myself I could write long-form (and at 196 pages, even that’s a bit of a stretch). I did not write it to “become” a writer, or make money, or get on a speaking circuit, or for any critique. That said, a couple of people I know gave it 3 and 4 stars. Which is fine. It’s not a story that’s for everyone. And it’s certainly not perfect by any stretch. But when I think about it, I did more than write a book–I created some art. Whether someone thinks it’s art or not, that’s what it is. I can’t stand the thought of someone saying, “It was ok. Not great.” It’s art. Either it moves you, or it doesn’t. And even if it doesn’t, no one (especially those who don’t make any art themselves) should never discourage an artist. If anything, the opposite is true. The world needs more art.

A guy I know recently ordered MK and said, “Just ordered it. I’ll send feedback soon.” To which I felt like saying, “I’ll be waiting with bells on.” ??

Yes, I realize that reading a novel is a commitment of time. Which is why I tried to make the story worthy of the investment. I mean, I read books, and view paintings, and go to movies and walk away with some judgement of it. Did it move me? Did it make me question things? Would I recommend it? So really, it’s a conundrum. But as an artist, I don’t think I could ever give any of my friends a rating of less than 5-stars for their art. Which is NOT to say that I expect that from my friends. I have plenty of friends who have read MK who have not said anything. Which is fine. Better than a low rating, in my opinion. Because we should only ever try to encourage more art. After all, creating and sharing art is like cracking your chest open to reveal your heart.

Anyway, whatever. I had better get over this quick. Because the 1-star ratings are inevitable. Not that MK is a 1-star piece of art, but rather that no art can positively influence everyone.

Finally, no rating will ever influence whether I continue to create my specific form of art.

sunset over atlantic

Sunset over Atlantic. (Yeah, I painted it. So what? You got a problem with that? Maybe if you squint you’ll see it.) 


Jim Mitchem

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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.