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WRITERS HAVE FEELINGS TOO

August 9, 2017

Woe is me! We’re always getting picked on because we’re writers! Nobody likes us!

Waaaah!

Okay, things aren’t that bad…usually.

The inspiration for this article came from several celebrities who’ve sworn off Twitter in recent months, mainly because of trolls who like to throw cruel and senseless (at least to them) comments designed to drag them down. I won’t mention names, but…

When you throw yourself out there, into the world, display your art, your personality, your whatever, you’re leaving yourself subject to not only the adoration or attention you hope to get, but also the “other side” of the coin. The haters, or those that don’t quite see you as the cat’s meow (okay, a cliché, but it’s my article, so I’ll say what I want!).

This goes for actors, musicians, painters, and yup, us writers.

When we put our art out there, we’re exposing it and subjecting it to both side of the coin. The positive and the negative.

GOTTA DEVELOP A TOUGH SKIN RIGHT AWAY

I’ve said this plenty of times in the past. If you want to be a writer, you have to develop a tough skin.

Why?

Well, ahem…nobody writes perfect, especially starting out. Sure, one day, you could come close to that. Maybe get to the point where you could get by most people and be called a perfect writer, but those individuals are rare.

For most of us, we need a bevvy of editors, critiquers and others to help prop us up along the way. That means, there are people to tell us when we screw up! Yes folks, when we write, there are going to be people who need to be there to constantly tell us when we’re wrong and what to do to fix our mistakes.

That may be a bit tough on the ego, though it shouldn’t be. Are you such a person where you think you’re all that, and don’t need any help?

Are you perfect? Let’s not even go there. If so, you need psychological help.

For the rest of us, suck it up and get used to being told your wrong once in a while!

Your ego will survive just fine.

PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TO BE ASSHOLES

This folks, is the gist of this article.

There’s a way to tell someone something and there’s a way not to tell them.

I go back to the celebrities who get off Twitter. I think of the trolls who “sling shade” at said celebrities, to use the latest vernacular. This is cruel and unusual crap no individual needs to read or hear, whether deserved or not. These people are just plain assholes.

As writers, we get critiqued all the time. That’s no big deal. However, what bothers me, is the old “can’t help but be blunt” excuse for being cruel.

Blunt is one thing. Stupidly cruel and hurtful goes beyond blunt.

Luckily, that’s something we don’t allow in my writer’s group. We have that rule, “no blood on the floor” and will kick a member out of the group because of it.

I think back to the writer’s group from hell that I was in when I first arrived in Las Vegas. It was their job to intimidate you, make you feel like crap, to “toughen you up for the harsh world of publishing.” What bull!

Folks, I hear anecdotes all the time from others, especially when I attend writer’s conferences, or from the forums on line that I participate in. Some people are reluctant to join writer’s groups. That’s exactly what they ran across when they joined a writer’s group, sometime in the past, somewhere in this country.

People don’t have to be assholes, but often are.

For those of you that don’t know, yes, there are critique writer’s groups on line as well. Honest criticisms are one thing, but harsh and cruel derogatory comments are just plain unnecessary. The most worrisome thing about the on-line groups is that because the people are not face-to-face, comments can be a lot more harsh and cruel. If it’s a good group with good moderators, they’ll keep a handle on these assholes, but if not, it’s up to you to quit and find another one.

Writers have feelings too.

This is the same with reviews on line, but in this case, there’s nothing you can do about them but suck it up and roll with the punches. If you have enough fans, turn yourself into a glass is half full type person!

We’re not really here to talk about reviews, though. This is mainly about before the book ever gets to print.

I’VE BEEN PRETTY LUCKY SO FAR

It’s not that I haven’t been touched by this senseless crap before. I’ve received several harsh and nasty rejection letters. One was from a writing contest when I asked why my manuscript did not make the cut. As it turns out, it happened to be for Lusitania Gold, the book that’s currently being published.

I had a short story I once submitted that was rejected locally and received a very nasty and snarky rejection from a local publisher. She keeps trying to friend me on Facebook. I keep ignoring her request. I don’t need to deal with someone who supposedly works with writers but can’t consider feelings as well (not that I really cared, I got it published later, anyway).

I’ve had some very harsh and nasty comments at writer’s group meetings. Those individuals, who did the same to other writers were hence disinvited from the group. This is besides the writer’s group from hell.

SUMMARY

We need to look at this both ways. As writers, we need to have thick skins, but at the same time, not put up with cruel comments any more than we should dole them out ourselves.

Everyone has feelings and being blunt is no excuse for being cruel. Tempering our responses but saying (or writing them) in a constructive instead of destructive way is the only way to work.

Happy writing!

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