I have a little critic that lives in my head. Every time I craft a paragraph for the book, the little critic whispers everything that might be wrong with it: "That's just anecdotal - where's the science behind it?" "How does that quote illustrate your point?" "What kind of convoluted sentence structure is that?!" "Who cares?"
You get the idea. This week, when I read the NYT Book Review, I could only imagine when the little critic inside my head might someday be replaced by the professionally paid critics that review books. (Assuming I'm ever lucky enough to get my book reviewed.) In just a few pages, critics managed to eviscerate best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell ("The reasoning in 'Outliers,' which consists of cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false dichotomies, had me gnawing on my Kindle."), Pultizer and National Book Award Winner Philip Roth ("A lazy work, 'The Humbling' lacks its author's genius - all that would help us, as it has so many times before, to forgive him his prejudices and blind spots") and Vladimir Nabokav ("Although 'The Original of Laura' has at long last, been properly published - assuming it was proper to publish it at all - there's not enough of it to be properly reviewed, as Nabokov himself would surely understand. 'Not quite finished' with the manuscript? That was a sad understatement, for public consumption.")
Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.