This is one for all the up and coming writers out there.
So, here's something terribly ironic: I have a friend who, like me, was afraid of sharing her writing on the internet, because let's face it…people on the net can be downright bastards just for the sake of being bastards. Trolls, haters, big bag o dicks…call 'em what you want. But she decided to brave it and put some of her stuff up anyway (yay!). She generated some pretty positive reviews. But like with any writer-sharing site she got some negative ones, too. Sadly, the haters scared her away. I saw some of the things people nitpicked about before she took her stuff down and closed up shop. A lot of the negativity was verging on nasty. Now, that's the first reason I felt compelled to write this.
The second is as follows: It's been a while since I've logged into my own FF site (sorry! Between work and school I don't get a chance to log in very much anymore), but I did so earlier tonight. I sorted through some reviews, mostly positive, but there was one I found that was less than pleasant. I think the timing is pretty hilarious. It was only after I started writing a plea for people to be careful with their words that I decided to take a look at my own reviews. I save my reviews, even the ones I don't like because they teach me. I try not to obsess about them, because I think the person who is the most critical on me…is me. Most of my reviews are pretty positive. There are a few critical ones, which is absolutely fine. Believe me, I'm not trying to complain about the complainers. I think we're all entitled to our own opinions. After sorting through my reviews there were only a handful of responses that made me wonder why people get angry enough to say some of the things that they do.
I think I've only logged in and responded to a negative review one time, but seeing as how most people who leave the negative comments without logging in because they A) Don't have an account (which is fine, I can dig that) or B) want to bash, but are afraid so they hide behind the anonymity of the internet I am going to respond to any hate right here and right now. I like to respond to the people who take the time to read my writing, whether it's a simple thanks or an answer to a question or a, "hey, brah, why you hatin' just to hate?" I believe in free speech, so you want to bash...cool. But ask yourself a question before you do. If you don't like something...why spend time on it? I quite enjoyed writing my stories. I enjoy the people who review, positive and negative. Because the positive is just...well, it's nice to hear. And the negative generally teaches a lesson. But sometimes negative is just negative for no reason. I'm a logical person and like any writer I am open to growth, but growth generally happens with constructive criticism and logical discussions, not with, "ZOMG, thiz is sooo laime!"
Here's the thing: If something about my writing annoys you, that's perfectly fine. Writing is subjective. The only thing I ask is that if you don't like something don't harp on it like a twelve year old (no offense to any of my younger readers!). Be an adult. If you're not enjoying something it's as simple as stepping away from it. You don't have to be ugly and hateful. Other than that feel free to express your opinion...because, hey, we're all free to go wild on the internet, right? No repercussions. Some people just take that to an extreme. Hey, thumbs up. Congrats for mocking someone from behind the safety of a computer screen. After seeing some of the hateful things my friend was subjected to (thanks to my readers for never putting me through shit like that) and other hateful things drifting around the internet today I worry that people don't know the effect their words can have. Scared my friend away. Kind of sad, because her stuff was pretty damn good. I'm just trying to say to be mindful of the work you criticize. Some of the people who are sharing their writing are being brave enough to expose their soul to the world. It's not an easy thing to do. You should be mindful of anyone who has the balls to do that.
And to all the people out there who are afraid to expose the world to wonderful stories because of one piss-ant's opinion, don't let cynicism bring you down. Because I'm here to tell you…the negative in no way decreases the value of your talent, nor does it make you any less of an artist. How you let the opinions affect you is up to you.