Things a writer doesn’t want…

There are certain things that just don’t do a writer any good at all…

Things like…

  • Screeching about bad reviews.  Deal with it.  It’s going to happen.  Everybody is entitled to an opinion and when you rail about somebody not liking your work, you’re basically telling them they aren’t entitled to their opinion.  Move on.
  • Griping about how other writers have it better than you.  Sour grapes, anybody?  Nora Roberts gave a fantastic speech at RWA’s conference this summer… paraphrasing here because I can’t remember the exact words, but something along the lines of… If you’re bitching about how others are doing better than you, you’re wasting energy you could be putting into your career.  Stop bitching,  work harder.  Maybe you’ll do better.
  • Having your mother/brother/sister/lover speak out in your defense. Anywhere.  Whether you asked them to or not. It’s better that they not do this…really.  This is a good way to really, really smash your professional image without even trying-look at it this way-you get a bad review at work-how is it going to look if Mom shows up the next day to ask why? It might have worked if you got an unearned D in high school bio.  Won’t work once you’re an adult-whether they are a fan or not.

7 Replies to “Things a writer doesn’t want…”

  1. I guess I never thought about that last one because usually the family of an author isn’t that visable, you know? I have to admit though, as a fan and a friend to quite a few authors I get worked up FOR them if I read something unfair. Once on another author’s forum someone slammed a author I knew, about an article they wrote- implying it was just stuff from other writers’ articles etc. I had to defend them, and ended up ticking the person off. I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do, but I don’t regret it. Then again, I’m not family.

  2. Well, online, Brenda, I’ve seen some get visible.

    As regards to speaking out as a friend or even a fan, me personally? I’d rather nobody do it. If there is something that needs to be said on my behalf, I’d rather do it. The thing with having friends or fans do it, even when it’s done with the best intent, I’ve seen it done in ways that then turns the arena hostile. It’s especially bad with very popular authors-I’ve known readers who ended up leaving author forums/yahoo groups because they spoke their opinion-which all are entitled to-and they were all but lynched for it.

    The thing with defending somebody-if it’s the author’s work, especially in that instance-while I can appreciate the desire to defend a friend, personally, I think that’s more the author’s place to speak up. It’s her work, and it’s her reputation-if it was me reading it, and I saw somebody, anybody other than the author standing up and saying something, no matter how well the intention, I’m going to wonder. I’d think it’s better to either let it go, or let the author handle it. Again, it’s the author’s rep. It’s like her facing her boss in a review and the boss questioning something she’d done-she has to stand on her own. Friends can’t help her there.

    That’s just my opinion on it, but you also have to think about all the many people who don’t speak up-are they wondering and thinking, “why isn’t the author the one speaking up…” because those would be my thoughts.

  3. I agree with you about fans not defending your work but it’s not so simple as just that. When someone slams
    an fave author’s work, the fan can feel like it’s a slam on their reading taste too. I’ve seen some exchanges out there that turned so ugly. I just read the comments & remember that when you fight with pigs, you get dirty too. My least fave thing: people who instigate the ugliness & of course have the “courage” to sign on as “anonymous”.

  4. Another good point. When it’s likely to get ugly, eh, it’s not worth it. I’m good about wading in on the few times it’s looked like it could go that way on my turf, but I’ve seen readers who are honestly probably doing what they think is ‘helping’ a writer, and I don’t think it is. If it’s getting ugly, it’s fostering a hostile environment and even those who say nothing feel unwelcome.

  5. I agree– in the one case I mentioned I was very calm and nice about it. The person explained more clearly what he meant and I was okay with that. Actually, the only time I ever defend is if it’s a mention of something like plagiarism, and the author is not on the forum etc.

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