Alice Hoffman, Anne Rice & lots and lots of others.
Hmmmm. . . what do the following authors have in common?
Well, first they're human.
Second, they're Authors.
Third, they forgot the golden rule - Never ever send emails/tweets or anything else when you're angry.
I've been thinking about this alot lately, especially when I'm reading others' tweets/blogs, or reading stories of authors who've reply back to critiques. Now, let's be honest, I don't have a clue what it's like to be a published author and I certainly don't know what it's like to have work reviewed in public for all the world to read, but there's one thing that just keeps popping into my head when I hear of these stories:
Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrell, you'll never win!For writers (unpublished/published) I think this is really something to bear in mind. The world of publishing, like any creative career is full of criticism and rejection. At no point in your career will you ever be able to please everyone - your work will be accepted, rejected and criticised -constructively or destructively. We as writers have to reconcile ourselves to this point and remember that even when/if we're pulitzer prize winners or millionnaires, your work is never too good to be not critiqued.
So you've been ripped apart? What do you do?
There are a number of options to choose from:
- Make a cup of tea. Perhaps Chamomile. Turn on your rain sounds and do that yoga breathing you learnt from that dvd you bought yourself last Christmas. You are calm. You are calm. You think happy thoughts (e.g. revenge plots for a certain reviewer).
- You get so angry and upset that you're house goes into lockdown. Alarms are blaring, babies are crying. Pets/Children/Significant Others are running for cover. This is Cloverfield except without the bad camera work. Eventually you calm down. . . hopefully there has been no casualties.
- You Eat. You eat everything that is not breathing. Is that Haazan Daz? Is that chocolate? Is that a frozen pizza back there which expired around 1998? Is that a family size back of popcorn? Are those the kids' lunches? hmmmm. . . are those dog biscuits? Yup, you eat through the pain. No wonder you've put on three stone. You begin to think sending a bill for weight watchers to the reviewers might be an excellent idea.
- Pain is good for the soul. Those 150 rejections from literary agents and publishers weren't enough to completely wallpaper you're 'study' now you've decided the 'wall of pain' needs a new section. The Pain is Good. . . The Pain is Good. . . so you put that bad review up on that wall, right beside where you hang that 'atonement whip'.
Just step away from the computer and walk away. . .
Far away and go play with some puppies or look at your royalty cheque.
Because fandom wank is fun to read but not when you're the one being read about.
And REMEMBER delete no longer means delete - it only means 'google cache'.
Like Karma, once your comment is out there, there is no taking it back and it will come back to haunt you!
So to sum up, I think if there's one thing to learn from others' mistakes is that NEVER EVER respond to a negative review, unless you can do it like this
Please leave some comments, love to hear yer thoughts!