Joint Reading: first impressions


You may know that I am participating in the Joint Reading of one of my books, specifically of La Hora Del Ocaso. It is the first time I am involved in something like this and I would like to tell you my impressions.

First of all, I would like to highlight the good organization of the person in charge of it. If you want to take a look at her Instagram, you can find her, as you can see in the picture, at @descubriendoautores. She is in charge of setting goals, commenting days and even material to track reading. I think it’s an act of boundless generosity.

As far as that time to exchange opinions is concerned, on the one hand, I never imagined that it would last more than two hours and that people would be so involved and active, which is to be appreciated. It was the first eleven chapters of the book and I was convinced that they could not arouse too much controversy. Well, I was amazed about the different and even disparate opinions about the characters, the plot, the diversity of theories that arose, about absolutely everything. Amazing, really!!!!

On the other hand, I think it is necessary to talk about the emotions and feelings that this provokes and the management of them. Undoubtedly, it is an opportunity for personal growth. It is difficult at first to digest certain criticisms. With that tendency that we humans sometimes have to keep the bad things, there was a moment when I felt a little overwhelmed by certain comments, without seeing that most of them were positive and, above all, very constructive. It is the feeling of finding yourself under the magnifying glass of a microscope in which absolutely everything is analyzed. It is not always comfortable.

One of the participants, also a writer it seems, had been very critical even before starting (in the previous days) and went so far as to say that he had only read the Prologue and had already found a rookie mistake, which I found unfortunate, especially considering that the mistake did not turn out to be such, but he did not retract it as a group either. I found that comment hurtful since I understood that it could bias the rest of the readers in the group, especially when it was not accurate. Looking at the subsequent trajectory, I am sure he is not malicious, even though he puts more effort into highlighting what he considers to be flaws than possible virtues. However, I understood that I had to change the way I reacted. Can it bias the rest? Yes, that’s true, it does happen. It is what is known as the hypodermic needle effect. However, it doesn’t mean that I’m not right about some things and that they can be useful to me.

Many people are unaware that employing a minimum of psychology helps you to be listened to more attentively. In my years in the profession, I have observed the difference between starting a meeting or conversation by highlighting the negative aspects and starting with the positive. In the first case, the interlocutor closes the door and no longer wants to listen because he feels attacked. I admit that this has happened to me. In the second case, when you start talking about what you like, about what is good, highlighting what is positive, it is easier for the other person to listen to you attentively and be willing to admit the criticism much more easily.

Do I recommend this experience and will I repeat it in the future? It is too early to say because there are still three weeks left and I don’t know where the meetings are going to go. I can say that I am finding it intense, perhaps too intense at times. However, if I have to give an overall assessment, so far I can say that it is enriching for the excitement of the almost direct contact with the reader in this weekly meeting, for that learning and personal and professional growth, for that entering into an unknown experience.

The future will tell…

Have you ever participated in a Joint Reading? What has your experience as a reader/writer been like?

Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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