What it’s Like to Write Seven Reviews in One Day

Due to work being busier than ever, my little health problem and family obligations, in July I had been reading a lot and reviewing very, very little.  By mid-July I had probably read 20 books and written zero reviews for them.  As you guys know, I’m a horrible procrastinator, but every once in a while inspiration strikes like lightning.

All the authors reading this know what I’m talking about: your heart speeds up and you feel the instant need to go on your computer and type like mad to get all of your ideas on paper while you can.  You don’t stop for anything: food, drink, bathroom breaks, etc.  It’s energizing, but it can leave you drained for days afterward.  I know some authors that get completely wiped out after 5000 words in a day (fair enough, really), but what’s it like on the reviewer end?  Do reviewers experience similar fatigue after going on a review writing binge?  See for yourself!  Below is an accurate recreation of my thought process as I wrote seven reviews in one day, my record to date.

Work Zone

Review #1: I am in the zone!

The first review I tackled on that day was a review for a book I absolutely loved.  As you guys may or may not know depending on whether you write reviews as well, it’s very easy to gush about a new favourite book than to do a ‘meh’ review.  My average review is about 3-4 paragraphs, but this review ended up being 6 paragraphs long after some substantial editing so you guys wouldn’t get sick of my gushing.  Writing this review had the effect of truly putting me in the zone, meaning I was all energized for review #2.

Having Fun

Review #2: This is fun!

The second review I did was for a book I really liked, but had a few negative points mainly in that the author didn’t offer as much backstory as I would have liked.  It was actually pretty simple to write because all I had to do was gush about the parts I liked for the first few paragraphs, then add a small paragraph at the end in regards to how the book could have been improved.  So by my second review, I was still in the zone.

Atlas

Review #3: Still going strong!

My third review was a little tougher because it was for a book I found to be somewhere in the middle: good and bad.  Writing a review for books like these is always harder because you have to balance out the good with the bad in order to be fair.  If you over-emphasize the parts you liked, the parts that you didn’t will seem insignificant.  If you over-emphasize the negative parts, then you’re not really doing the author justice because you’re making their book sound terrible when you actually liked some parts of it.

Getting Tired

Review #4: Still easy going, but should I just stop for the day?

My fourth review drained me pretty badly because it was a fairly critical review of a book that I found funny, yet had very poor writing overall.  It just read like a joke book rather than a humorous novel with three dimensional characters and believable scenarios.  I had a pretty hard time finding enough to say about the novel because basically, that was it: It was a joke book, not a novel.  Eventually, I did pull through and write the review.

Forgetful

Review #5: Hmm…what was the main character’s name?

Review #5 was where my fatigue began to show.  Yes, I admit that sometimes I read so many books I have to look up the main character’s name.  This is because I tend to focus more on the plot and the character’s, well, characteristics rather than their name.  Sometimes their name is hard to find in a book told solely in first person, but usually a quick review of the blurb is enough to jog my memory.  However, by review #5, pretty much everything I’m trying to remember is called into question.

No Pain No Gain

Review #6: Must. Keep. Going.

By this time I had been writing reviews for a solid 2 1/2 hours and my legs were starting to ache, but I had to keep going.  I knew I wouldn’t get another opportunity that week to write reviews, so I had to schedule all of my reviews for the entire week in one day.  Besides, I also had to schedule author requested reviews a week in advance since my policy is to notify authors a week in advance of when a review is going to be published.  Writing for the coming week and the week after that definitely made for motivation.

Keep Going

Review #7: Ungh

I’ll be honest with you guys: I was barely coherent by review #7.  I had to look up the main character’s name three times, read the blurb twice for the plot points and make a note on my calendar to go back and edit the review the next day.  Editing cleared up most of my coherency problems the next day, but the point of writing review #7 by that time was just to prove I could do it.  In a way I’m a writer, aren’t I?  And writers can write more than just 3500 words in one day.

Book Review Writing

So there you have it folks!  I’m not perfect and obviously neither is my review-writing process.  Yes, I can do seven reviews in one day and I’m proud I can do that, but doing those reviews knocked out any remaining will to write for a week.  By the end of the week I was back to square one and wrote 5 more reviews in one day.  But I’ve never equaled (or even tried to equal) that record-breaking seven reviews in one day.

How many reviews have you written in one day?  How many reviews are you able to write before your brain shuts down completely like mine did?  Did you ever have that inspired feeling where you just had to start reviewing?  Please tell me in the comments section below and remember that everyone is different!  Some people can probably write 10 reviews a day and not feel the least bit exhausted while some of us can’t handle more than one or two a day.

10 comments

  1. Phillip McCollum

    I’m not a professional (or even amateur) reviewer, so I usually write 1 or 2 reviews a month, if that. I admire someone like you that can crank them out and still maintain good quality.

  2. Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink)

    *clutches chest* 7? In a day? I’ll be lucky to finish one.

    Most of the time, I just start the review on random days and try to finish all the posts when I can. But seriously, 7? I want to be able to write three reviews for a day, but I just can’t.

    • Carrie Slager

      When I first started out I’d do that: start the review and finish it later. These days I don’t have time for that stuff so I just plunk myself down and vow not to leave the chair until I have at least one review written. Such is the price of keeping a daily blog, right? 🙂

  3. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB)

    I’ve only ever written two book reviews in a day, but it’s always amazing what writers can do when push comes to shove. I never procrastinated during graduate school until the day I wrote a 20-page paper that required in-text citations in one night standing up at the breakfast bar because I was in the process of moving and the furniture was already gone. After that, I viewed procrastination as a plus 😉

    • Carrie Slager

      Ah, procrastination is awful. Especially when you’re on a daily schedule like I am. I should block off hours of my day to devote to my blog, especially since us procrastinators are so good at time management. 😉

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  5. Anya

    Omg, I always have to look up character names! First person stories make that difficult, but especially when I want to mention a great secondary character and there aren’t characters listed on GR, that’s when I’m in trouble D:

    But seriously, two max! This is mostly because I’m too OCD to get through more books than that before writing reviews. I have such a horrible memory that I know my review will be better the sooner I write it, so I try hard to get to any books I finish during the week by the weekend. This is obviously in normal life mode, so I’m not in anyway criticizing you for having a bunch of reviews to write. I probably would just not write the reviews if I had to stop for a month because of life, I’m just not capable of writing them after a certain point, haha!

  6. Helen @ My Novel Opinion

    7 reviews in one day!!! My goodness no wonder you struggled. I start to feel all backed up if I have more than 2 to write, but I don’t tend to write more than one at a time because I just get them mixed up. Obvs life gets int he way sometimes so I totaly get why you had to do it that way. I would have given up though, or just done mini-reviews.

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