So, all will be back to normal on Monday. I have books to read and review...interviews to post, and music to ramble on about. But today, I wanted to touch on a subject that might raise a few hackles. As a writer, my blog is a way to let my readers know what is coming. It also gives me a chance to promote some of my comrades who toil over the written word. But sometimes...sometimes I just want to rip in to people with guns blazing and leave them a bubbling mass of goo. After all...I am only human. And what many of you may not know is that I used to have SERIOUS anger issues.
Many of my friends over the years likened me to the character "Ajax" from that movie, The Warriors.
So, I guess I am glad that I have my wonderful wife taking care of things like Facebook and Twitter. Don't get me wrong, if you see words, they are mine, but she lets me know when somebody makes a comment and then I can respond to it. Honestly, I need to spend my time writing; books do not just magically appear...they take lots of work (as many of you know). I think that the social media has some merit. It had helped people find long-lost family members, raised awareness in regards to the struggles in places like Egypt...all good. However, it has also given people the ability to sit in the comfort of their dark little rooms and spew hatred and say things that they would never say if the person that they were talking to was standing right there.
One of the things about written versus SPOKEN words is that it lacks inflection or expression. It leaves itself open to interpretation. That means that whatever is in the mind of the reader (anger, envy, malice) gets ramped up because they read into words what they WANT to see. That causes escalations when there was never really anything there, often leaving one side scratching their heads.
I have watched writers completely melt down on Facebook forums and they forget one simple fact. YOU, as a writer, are a brand. If you don't really care about how many people read your stuff, then melt to your heart's content. But when you act the fool, no matter how grand of a sob story you try to weave later, most people are smart enough to know that there are usually two sides. And if they see you carrying on, you could very well lose that next sale. People don't mind supporting a little crazy...but if you are a raving, whining, pity-party-throwing loon...or, equally nasty, the person talking bad about people, spreading vicious rumors and ranting about every perceived slight, you will lose your audience.
Sure, there are a few people that I would LOVE to tee off on. There have been times where I wanted to personally invite an individual or three to lean down and take a big smooch of my behind on chili and pickled egg night. And I will admit that there have been individuals that I would love to meet in a dark alley. But...I spent years finding ways to channel that into positive things. And if I get too worked up, I take my dog for a walk or pick up my guitar...what I do NOT do is act on those emotions.
We live in a world where everything you do--for better or worse--is under the public microscope. To my fellow writers, most of you know it, so I am preaching to the choir, but YOU are a brand name. To the non-writers, remember that adage about "If you can't say something nice..." (Unless you are part of the Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees rivalry...then there just is not any hope...not even Dr. Phil would have you guys on together.)
Have a great weekend.