Author friend Michelle Rowen told me last year–to my face, no less–that she loves it when I go off on one of my Jane Porter rants here on my Janeblog. She thinks its hilarious. Even when I sound positively crazy.
She should like this one. Because I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with the world. At least, the writing/publishing world.
Another author friend of mine, who shall go nameless, but lives across a big ocean is disgustingly successful in her genre. She’s won oodles of awards and sold a gazillon books, books that are really beloved by readers and writers alike.
So what’s the problem?
Recently she got a rude reader email about one of her books and there was no reason for it other than this reader (who claimed all her friends felt the same way) wanted to make my friend feel bad.
The thing is, reader critics and armchair reviewers, its easy to have an opinion but damn hard to write a book.
The thing is, writing a proper review is also very difficult but sending an author a private nasty gram is just too easy in today’s cyber age. Anyone can pop off a mean, virtually anonymous, email. Anyone can open a hotmail or yahoo account and froth at the mouth. What’s tough is sharing your thoughts without the fake name. Sharing your thoughts–in public–with your real name and your real email and your real contact info. Because that’s what we writers do each and every time we have a story, essay or book published. We put it out there. With our name. With our reputation. We don’t–and can’t–hide.
One, writing is our career.
And two, we have balls.
So to my dear friend across the ocean–the ‘reader’ that emailed you her helpful thoughts on why your book sucked and how you should be a better writer, just remind yourself she’s probably not published and probably very jealous that you are, and sadly, the world is full of people who want others to be as unhappy as they are.
I do feel sorry for these miserable folks. It’s sad that they’ve got to attack others and break people down instead of build them up, or God forbid, learn to think positive thoughts, but that’s how it is. It’s easier to wallow in misery than fix problems, including problems that require self-evaluation and change. It’s easier to lash out instead of focusing on yourself. But the unhappy people in the world aren’t going to go away, and we writers aren’t going to be intimidated or wounded and quit writing.
We writers aren’t going to please everyone. Nor do we have to save folks that don’t want saving. We don’t have to be perfect, either, or even write perfect books.
All we have to do is please ourselves.
Please ourselves, and oh, be happy.
Maybe it’s not easy, but it’s a heck of a better goal than flinging feces and shooting off nasty grams just because we can.