The harsh truth, and cold comfort

This is such a powerful piece, relevant to so many authors, particularly those who are less than confident in their own work.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

GRRM Meme 2Authors are not really great at social stuff. On top of that, we tend to be horribly insecure about our work, but it’s all we can think of to talk about.

We are thin-skinned and bleed profusely when you cut our work to shreds. Some of us handle that with grace and dignity, and others go ballistic and make an uncomfortable situation worse.

Now we come to a problem affecting a friend who lives far way from me–authors undercutting authors. She has left her writing group and will not be going back because one new member is harsh and unfair in the way they critique this author’s work–under the arrogant pretense of “just telling the truth.”

The new member is published, an indie, and seems to be selling a fair amount of books. She was invited to join a group of authors who are not not yet published, but who all hope to be. Each member is…

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12 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Deborah. People can be deliberately cruel, or cruel due to actual ignorance of how they are making someone feel. I quite leaving negative book reviews of any kind several years ago, because it made ME feel bad, so no telling how it made the author feel. (Though, of course, I never made any review a personal attack.) I prefer to review books I like, and especially books I LOVE, and I know I don’t have to worry about the ones I didn’t enjoy. There will always be someone to happy to leave bad reviews, so I don’t need to.

    Though The Write Stuff isn’t a critique blog, per se, still, I would never tolerate anyone treating another writing with a lack of respect. There’s no excuse for it. And the truth is, every book isn’t right for every reader, and any writer who thinks they will pen something that is, is probably in for an unpleasant shock. I’m a newbie writer, and I know this already. I’m just happy that at least some people enjoy what I’ve written, and continue to buy my work. I never expected to zoom to the top of the NY Times Best Seller list. I just want to tell my stories, and know there are those out there who enjoy them. Yes, bad reviews are painful, but you take the constructive part of them, learn from that, and move on. And if they are ugly, personal attacks, you have learned something about that reviewer you didn’t know before…and it reflects far more negatively on them than on your work.

    That’s MY story, an’ I’m stickin’ to it! 😀

    Thanks for reblogging this. Great article.

    1. PS, as usual, I’m half blind this morning with my eye issues, so please ignore typos. I should have taken the time to proof more carefully, but also as usual, I’m behind today. 😦

      1. Ahh, poor you, but thanks for weighing in, it’s always been my view that we should all support each other; there is plenty of room for all.
        I hate bullies of any ilk.

  2. @Deborah–thank you for your kind words and for reblogging this post. If we lift each other up, we all rise.

    1. Quite! Thanks for writing about it so passionately and eloquently.

  3. Wow, I really needed to read this today. It was one of the saddest things for me to realize, a few years ago when I first published, that there are authors who make a point of ridiculing other authors (directly and indirectly) in an effort to prove their superiority, and, in their minds, sell more books. I’ve been bullied by other writers, both pre- and post-publishing, and it’s never well-thought-out critique, but a case of, and I quote, “I don’t know why anyone likes your work. You should read mine and be more like me.” Ugh. So frustrating. I write because I love the craft. It’s my art. My head would explode if I didn’t find an outlet for those storylines, and I love studying and honing the craft. It’s truly a shame that there are authors who focus on becoming Queen Bees rather than enjoy the writing community.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

    1. Hi Lauren, I guess,sadly, that it’s just human nature, there are simply people out there who feel the need to belittle others to boost their own egos. Sad for their victims and sad that that’s the only way they can feel good about themselves 😦

  4. jenniferbielman · · Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    1. It speaks to a lot of us, doesn’t it?

  5. What an article. It is a sad truth that there are some writers and readers alike out there who can’t play fair. I know it happens a lot. I’ve read many stories. This is one of the reasons I don’t join a lot of groups. I don’t have the time, and don’t want to get involved with hard feelings.
    If you read Anne R Allen’s blog, she write a lot of great articles about where authors should stay away from. I’m happy to have my circle of writing friends and wonderful readers. And always trying to stay clear of the trollers. 🙂

    1. I do read Anne R Allen’s great blog, and much sage advice she shares. I haven’t (yet) found myself in the sort of situation described above, but like you, I’m quite careful about my writer’s circle of friends. I’ve seen it from the outside, writers with massive egos and no humanity – not for me, or anyone, for that matter.

      1. And just another things we have in common. 🙂

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