I have to come clean.
I can’t stand a critical person.
I have to be honest with you, I from time to time am a critical person – especially when it comes to certain details and getting things right. However, I am not talking about people that just comment on what they do or do not prefer.
I am certainly not talking about the kind of person that just speaks their mind about a matter that they are passionate about, or those who offer their opinions when asked. That is not the kind of critical person I am talking about.
I am also not talking about those who have something to say, and present it in a way that other people can understand. Sometimes critiques can help us move forward, learn from our mistakes, and better ourselves.
What I cannot handle however, is those who are miserable, that have nothing but negative things to say, and that go around offering their unsolicited nastiness to the world. I CAN’T HANDLE IT.
I happened to be on one of the forums on Amazon, and someone who wrote a review for one of my books had accidentally posted in the wrong forum about my book. She wanted to see if any other members had purchased the book, and wanted to talk about it. She enjoyed the book, and posted her opinions in that forum. Well, some inconsiderate individual attacked her presence there, my character, and my book.
He called my book an obscure – overpriced – indie title, and he made several subliminal comments to hint that I somehow paid the girl to go on there and hype my book up.
I CAN’T HANDLE that kind of negative, ignorant behavior.
First off, I am not the kind of person that would want someone’s “paid response” as a book review. That is ridiculous. I would much rather have the person have a genuine interest in the story that I wrote and actually go on to explain to others how much they loved my book.
My biggest pet peeve with the entire conversation was that the guy DIDN’T EVEN READ MY BOOK. He at most, skimmed over the synopsis, checked out the price, the description didn’t fit what kind of novels he was into, and then he went off on the poor lady – for no reason whatsoever. How can you have an opinion about something – that you never even read?
Let me tell you something, I am a sensitive person, and I know that you have to have pretty tough skin to be in any kind of artistry. There will be people who disagree with you for no reason whatsoever. There will be people that try to drag your name through the mud, and bring you down. I understand that people just want something to comment on, and people are well within their rights to say what they feel. I get it.
But to attack a self-published Indie author, as if they are the scum of the publishing world is unacceptable. He didn’t form his critique based on visiting my website, reading my book, or even knowing me personally. He just saw an opportunity to release his frustration (probably with life in general) out on a woman who was just in the wrong place at a very wrong time. I felt so bad for that lady. I almost lost it, but I calmed down, and I didn’t even respond. The reason why is because it really wasn’t worth my time to try and explain to that man all the hard work that I have put into developing my writing, the countless hours I spent researching, the countless hours I spent editing, and all the other work that I put into writing that book – and all of my books.
Everyone starts somewhere. I don’t care who you are. You had help along the way, and also there was a time when even the biggest names in publishing didn’t have the resources that they needed to support their overall craft. Everyone starts somewhere.
My point with writing all of this is to say, “be mindful of what you say about or to other people”. Before you write that critical post or judge someone, just remember that everyone does not have the same resources as you do, everyone does not have the same level of education as you do, everyone does not have the same support as you do, but everyone does have a right to express their artistry. Everyone is at different levels in the game.
People are certainly within their rights to comment on the work that we artists make public – I understand. That is why I’ve had to learn to kind of take all criticism lightly.
Just think twice before posting something critical about another person’s art. Maybe that person is really trying their hardest with the resources they have. Their artistry is their perception of the world and their experiences – sometimes we just don’t understand where others are coming from.
So ask yourself these questions before you post something critical: Is the comment that you are going to post helpful to the development of the person? Is the comment you are going to post relevant to the person’s overall achievements? Do you really know who the person is? Do you know how much time, work, and dedication they put into everything they do? Could it be possible that you just may not resonate with their work, and it may not be grounds to criticism them?
That is all I am saying – just think before you speak. Words do have power. Be careful how you use them. The guy went on to say several other things and would not let up on the lady. That is why it infuriated me so much. Even after she apologized several times for posting in the wrong forum, the guy kept on about her and my book.
The truth is… his comments hurt me.
It felt like all of the hard work that I had put into writing that novel went right out the door with just a few words by a very disgruntled man. I know that his comments can’t really do anything to me, but just to hear someone say those things and not even know you or your work is really disheartening.
How about you… has anyone ever criticized your work without adequate evidence to support their claims?
Do you have anything that you would like to confess for Truth Be Told Tuesday? If so, go to the top of the post and click “leave a comment” to share your story. If you prefer to post your response on your own blog, just add the words “Truth Be Told Tuesday” somewhere in your post and link back to this article.
I look forward to hearing your response.