Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Writers Behaving Badly... AKA Epic Twitter Freak-Out

Writing is an emotional business. Like most creative individuals, we writers are very sensitive to criticisms of our "art". I actually ask my beta readers to write down their comments rather than giving them to me verbally, because I need to read them twice before I can process them rationally. My first reaction is always emotional and defensive, no matter how valid the criticism (and the criticisms are usually spot on - my beta readers kick ass). But I know this about myself and I try to keep that first knee-jerk reflex private.

That is one of the dangers of Twitter - people posting when they are in the throws of an emotionally-fueled, rationally-devoid temper-tantrum. They say things publicly that are so epically stupid there really are no words to describe that level of idiocy.

Like posting the name, phone number, and email address of someone who gave you a negative review in a major newspaper. Like this Twit.

Bad reviews sting, but it's someone's opinion! You do not start a hate-mail campaign over someone not liking you! What was she thinking? I actually like a couple of the movies made from her books and probably would have checked out her writing if I had tripped across her name in a more positive way. Now? Sorry. I have books to read from people who aren't having meltdowns in public places and sending their readers off on hate-missions. (Though I do feel a little sorry for her that the backlash from her Twitter diatribe is going to be so harsh.)

Just a couple days ago, I got a less-than-stellar review from Mrs. Giggles. Now, I didn't agree with the review, because I think she said a couple things about the book that weren't entirely accurate - she didn't like it, no problem, but what I felt was her misportrayal of the story bugged me, as I mentioned here on the blog. But I would still recommend her site (as I have done before) to those who like a little snark with their reviews (as I do). And I urge you not to send her hate mail, not to call her, and not to try to change her mind. Her review is her review. I'm grateful she took the time to review me at all. She's a busy woman. (Dude, have you seen how many books she reviews each week? She must be reading constantly.)

So yeah, just to be clear, we like Mrs. Giggles, lukewarm review and all. I'd probably like her less if she were less opinionated, so I can't exactly bitch about falling on the wrong side of her preferences without being a total hypocrite. And I try to avoid hypocrisy when possible. Just as I try to avoid knee-jerk emotional reactions that spill out into public forums. That is just never a good thing.

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