Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Defensive End

So this thing that keeps happening happened again today to another author. Or it didn't happen *to* the author. And while I can stand outside and shake my head and knowingly wonder why they would ever think this is a good idea, I have to admit, I can understand the impulse. Today, I was in a meeting and [an idea I had] was attacked, or rather a group of people of which I am a part of ['s idea] was attacked, and I defended it-- not even in a scathing, upset way-- but I have this horrifying feeling that I talked too much. I worry that I looked too upset, too offended.

And it reminds me of this simple truth: not everyone is going to like me [or all of my ideas]. And more than that, not everyone *has* to like me. Trying to make those people like me is an exhausting waste of my time. It robs me of my joy. Hey,  I'm not for everyone. However, at the risk of sounding conceited, most of the people I meet, do end up my friend. But there will always be a few who just aren't going to like me, and I'm not going to stop being myself or chase after them or try to convince them they're wrong by sicking my friends on them to convince them they're wrong; instead, I've learned to shrug it off and enjoy the company of the people who enjoy mine.

Because life is too short, and the internet too big for this kind of nonsense. It doesn't work. It makes you look small. In the end, it reinforces all of the things they believed about you to begin with.

2 comments:

  1. The only thing more ridiculous than an author getting upset about a bad review is a reader getting upset about an author getting upset and saying they're never reading the author's books again. Wait, I thought this was about not making split-second decisions based on emotion and impersonal internet interaction?

    Don't feel like defending yourself in person is bad. Unless someone is video-recording you, it becomes instant hearsay.

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  2. It's worse for an author, known and out there, to go after an anonymous reviewer who simply said they didn't like your book. Mostly because it's just not smart. I mean, it sucks, but going after the reviewer has worked exactly how many times?

    You don't need to go on and defened your book because everyone knows you like it and think it's great.

    If SK did that, I'd lose respect because I'd know he's not as brilliant as I believed him to be. We do tend to idolize our favorite authors to a certain extent; we want them to be smart.

    And I guess "defend" is the wrong word to use up there in my post -- I was trying to avoid particulars, but it was closer to what the author was doing. Someone just didn't like something I put out there and instead of just taking the criticism, I was sputtering a little. I don't think I made a total mess of things like they did (it wasn't online after all), but this felt familiar. I can identify with that impulse to protect those things we put out there, but end of the day I was able to pull back and recognize that dissent is a part of life.

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