Every now and again I have this urge to be serious. It does not happen often for I love to laugh and see others smile. However, when I find the need to speak, it usually helps someone, so, here it be...... Authors are people too. Allow me to explain why I’m making such a silly statement.
When we sit down at a computer or grab pen and paper, we are opening ourselves up to scrutiny. We take hours, days, weeks, months and yes sometimes years to put on paper a story we feel is worthy to entertain, educate or enhance the lives of people we don’t know. Some do it for the love of writing, others for the love of money. In which case, I feel for you. Each author has their reasons for sharing their lives, imaginations, loves, smiles and in some cases blood, sweat and tears with others. Whatever the reason, we open ourselves up for anyone and everyone that reads our work. Some times the results are wonderful, helpful, enlightening and very often educational. Then there are those times when the results are not so gratifying. At times, it borders on cruel and unusual punishment.
As professionals, which authors are, those not so gratifying times should be handled with as much grace as the award winning moments. We cannot, nor should we, approach or attack reviewers of our work in a public forum. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, there are times when the content of the individual’s opinion becomes personal. In those moments, after you have (in private called the a-hole every non-biblical name in the book) really thought about it, the individual does not know you as a person. They read some of your work and were not pleased with the final product. Okay, that’s fine, simply because for everyone that does not like your story, there are twenty that will, you do the math.
You see, the public is watching you and your reaction to these situations. They are not watching the person that mercilessly degraded your name. If you go at the person the same way they came at you, it will only hurt your reputation. You have more stories to tell and more books to sell. Once you go negative, you can’t go back. Yes, you can try to clean it up afterwards, but for some they will never know, because you lost them with the outburst.
Never allow anyone else’s action determine your public image. Behind closed doors, curse, scream, or even break a few things, but in public, smile and say thank you, for the person did purchase your book, and/or took the time to read your story. Then move on. Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits. Believe in yourself and your work. Stay professional at all times.
Sorry for the serious nature of my thoughts, but it was on my mind. I’ll be back with Love Letters next time.