Inner Darkness

Christine Sutton

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The Power of Positivity, or How to Lose a Reader in Ten Ways

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 7:20 AM

It seems that everywhere you turn on the internet these days, there is an independent author making total and complete asses out of themselves. I have seen more hissy fits, posturing and downright embarrassing behavior online than most kindergarten teachers see in a year. The biggest problem with that is the fact that many readers are unable or unwilling to distinguish between these authors and the rest of us that are simply trying to do what we love. When the average reader sees this behavior, they are loaded with images of radical fruit loops writing stories that are poorly edited, and barely cohesive. They see the dollars that they work hard for, being potentially wasted on drivel. These mental images are only perpetuated by the bad behavior of some writers. A little positivity goes a long way.

The truth is, as an author, artist, actor, singer, or whatever; you are putting yourself in the public eye and asking people to please like you or what you have done.

Here is a news flash: Not everyone will. If they do not like you, it is not because they are jealous, or because they have no taste, or they are out to get you. It is because the product that you have produced is not to their liking. Simple as that.

So, what is an author to do?

Take it. Throwing a fit, hurling insults, and telling everyone about your thousands of Twitter followers, or your hundreds of Facebook friends that all said they loved your book, does absolutely nothing to change that fact. If you receive a "bad" review, the best thing to do is read it. If there is something written in the review that you feel might be valid, and may improve your craft, take it. If the review bashes your skills and refers to you as an amateurish high school level writer, take it.

Then quietly let it go.

If you are at a stage play, and someone boos the performance, the actors do not stop what they are doing to tell the person that they "are jealous" or are "out to get them". They simply do their best to continue entertaining the rest of the patrons. Not once in my lifetime have I ever heard of an artist threatening to take his or her toys and go home because someone was being a big mean doodie-head.

By getting your panties in a bunch, you only make yourself look stupid and childish. Stomping your feet, and listing your credentials will definitely not help your cause. Ranting and raving for the whole world to see is the last thing that you want to do. Trust me.

Some may see a bad review or a criticism as a personal attack, an injustice that must be righted through blog posts or web forums. In 99.999% of cases, this is simply not true. Most often, it is simply an opinion. It may or may not be right, but that person is still entitled to it. If you don't like it…oh well. Suck it up, buttercup. That is after all only your opinion.


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Reply Linda
8:53 AM on August 2, 2012 
Thank you Christine for the insightful message. I was thinking about some of the posts I've seen lately and some of the responses to those posts and agree with you. Unfortunately in this day and digital age, as some of the Olympic athletes can tell you first hand, tweeting and FBing are out there forever and anyone can and may see them at any time and place. I hope that after I get my book completed and published I will be as mature as my age and not allow people's uncomely remarks bother me. Although truth is most likely I would keep those remarks to myself as I tend to bottle up my emotions until I explode. I also have to be very careful of what I post and how I post it as the company I work for monitors the social media networks for possible company privacy and policy infractions and there are a list of things that could get me fired. Anyway I just wanted to thank you for bringing an issue to the attention of those of us who really want to make a positive impression on our readers while comfortably admonishing those who prefer to make asses of themsselves.
Reply Barry Cole
5:19 PM on April 8, 2014 
Very well said.
It is not easy to be in the public eye. However it can be a lot of fun.
Do whatever you do for you.For your enjoyment. If others like it all the better.
However if you do it for you. You will have had so much fun it will not matter what others say.