Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole

I think given the fiasco over at Big Al's Books and Pals I think this is a good time for this blog post. (Go down to the comments and you'll understand if you haven't already heard. It's was burning through twitter yesterday like a wildfire.)

Blogs are way to express one's opinions. We can rant and rave about a topic or sing praise. But expression opinions can be a double edge sword. We risk offending someone or unintentionally hurting someone's feelings. It's not always meant but when you put your views out on the internet, you're bound to find someone who doesn't agree.

The safe bet would be just to keep our mouths shut. Only blog about 'safe' topics. That's a piece of advice for writers I have heard. Don't pick hot topics to discuss, you'll hurt yourself, drive readers away. I don't want to drive readers away but let's be honest. Not everyone is going to like my writing. Some people will hate it, maybe even devote their own blog post to bashing my words.

So why should I let that scare me from expressing an opinion I feel strongly about? I don't think I should. I don't want to cower in fear of my readers. I want to embrace them, share with them, risk exposing myself to them. I want to say, "This is who I am and we may not always see eye to eye but never be afraid to express yourself. Stand up for what you believe in, even if it risks bringing ridicule on yourself."

Hopefully, as long as I'm gentle about the topic, stressing that these are my opinions and I believe my readers are entitled to their own as well, the discussion that follows in the comments will be mature. We'll approach each other with open minds or agree to disagree. If not, if comments get too out of control... well, that's what spam filters and the ability to turn of comments come in handy. ^^;;


  1. I did this with politics in my last blog, courting controversy...

  2. It's sort of a balancing act... on the one hand - if everyone was all sunshine and kisses about everything (even when it's not), then that would be pretty boring - and not get you noticed.

    But, yeah, opinions piss people off... or more so, it pisses off the people who like the world to be black and white... and they get in a huff over a sentence they don't agree with. My personality is so loud that if I didn't hold back a little - I'd offend people all the time (and be probably be funnier to the people who agree with me).

    I actually kinda felt bad for the lady who got the bad review... it's obvious that she lost her temper... and lord knows I've said and done some pretty stupid things when I lose mine... I've just learned to stay away from a computer when that happens... I'm sure she is receiving a lot of hate mail (probably somewhat deserved).. but still, she's only human.

  3. Yeah she is only human. But I think the F-bombs she dropped was what really got to me. Two different times that was her only response. At some point a person has to shove aside their temper - especially if they are conducting some form of business - and realize people WILL disagree/say bad things/criticize your work and you have to accept it.

  4. Yeah... I totally agree with you... She made it personal, by saying "F-You" twice, which was a pretty disgusting act of humanity... I wonder how she feels today... There's no way she can't be horribly embarrassed by her actions (although she might not admit it). If anything I didn't really feel bad for her, I just knew I wouldn't want to be in her shoes after the way she acted.

  5. So long as the blogger stays professional then it's fair game. The Jacqueline Howett fiasco, thankfully, shows exactly what an author shouldn't do and what a blogger should. The blog author was professional throughout, whereas the author went on a nonsensical tirade.

    A blog, especially a review blog, is but a string of opinions when you break it down. If someone reacts that badly to a more or less random person saying that something you wrote needs work, then they shouldn't even be in the creative industry.

  6. Good point Jamie. When you ask a book reviewer to look at your book, what you get is their opinion. You might not like that opinion but at some point you need to realize not everyone will like what you write. Once you realize that I think you should be able to soften the blow when that bad review comes in.

  7. I backed away slowly

  8. Probably the wisest course of action Terrance! Close mouth and leave.