I write. The only stuff I’ve ever really put out there for people to see are freelance articles for HubPages, but I do write fiction, and do have aspirations to be published someday. But even having written and made public what I have, I know what it’s like to get reviews, comments, and yes, negative criticism.
However, no matter how bad the criticism, I know better than to respond to it like this.
I admit, I’ve responded to some commentary with disagreements to their disagreement, but I at least try to keep my cool and elaborate on my points without flipping a bitch and telling people, like Jacqueline Howett did, to “fuck off.”
This reaction is what I tend to call “pulling an Anne,” so named after Anne Rice’s infamous flip-out at people who reviewed Blood Canticle negatively on Amazon, where she told them that they just didn’t get her writing, that she didn’t write it for them, and that she’s too good for an editor and never lets a single word of her work be changed by hands other than her own.
Most authors accept the fact that not everybody’s going to like their work, know that negative reviews happen, and even though it may bother them, they know it isn’t the end of the world. Most good authors know that their works are never perfect, and that there’s always room for improvement, and don’t tend to put their feet in their mouths by saying that every word they write is perfection and that nothing could be better.
Jacqueline Howlett pulled an Anne. She replied to reviews that suggested her work wasn’t spectacular, and with good cause, and she flipped out and dared to tell people that they have no right to their opinions if they don’t mesh with her own.
When authors do this, it makes me think twice about ever reading what they do. If I’ve read them before, I tend not to want to continue supporting them if they really think themselves so high and mighty as to act that way to the people who essentially support their way of living. If I haven’t read their work before, I make a point of not doing so after witnessing that. I don’t want to support them. I don’t want to support the kind of people who spit on their benefactors, who insist that they’re King Shit and that nothing anybody says against them is valid.
If and when the time comes that I get a book on the store shelves, I’ll have to take my lumps when people don’t like what I write. Nobody can please everybody. But you shoot yourself in the foot by doing what Rice did, what Howett did, and you hurt nobody so much as yourself, because you alienate people who could have helped you, you make yourself look like a jerk, and you make others think twice about helping you with anything.
To all the authors who are mature enough to take their lumps without flipping out and swearing at their readers, I salute you. To the authors who understand that good and bad will both come and who accept that as a fact of art, I support you. To all the writers who appreciate the fact that bloggers don’t have to take the time to read and review what you wrote but they do anyway, I love you all!