Random thoughts on our impending doom and everyday life, courtesy of a Romance Writer who occasionally feels the need to talk like a Sailor.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The shameless and not so fine art of putting yourself out there…

Exhibit A: She trembled as I took the photo because obvs end of the world. Again.
At the Romance Writers of Australia conference last weekend there was an interesting seminar from editor and book reviewer, Kate Cuthbert. Her point, in my opinion, could be simmered on down to this one pearl of wisdom—if you are a writer then stay the hell away from reviews. They’re not written for you, they’re there for readers. You’ve finished pounding out your baby upon the keyboard of life and now it is time to move on to the next project. Hearing this was a ‘huh’ moment for me and I think it is great advice. Like any new author about to be published, reviews scare the sh*t out of me. Will people love or loathe my book? Shall they spam me with sonnets or shame me with hate mail? Either reaction, once my baby book has been dispatched back to my publisher to be uploaded, is beyond my control. It’s a totally done deal. Knotting my knickers over something someone writes on their own blog is largely a waste of time and energy.

The second thing that happened to get me thinking about people’s behavior including my own, be it unsavoury or otherwise, was some minute amount of bollocks on twitter. Someone trying to pick a fight with me over not very much at all regarding something I was barely involved in. It surprised me. I suppose I’ve lived a sheltered social media existence up until now or something. Now, I don’t know this person. I don’t follow this person. And I likewise don’t care much for the person’s opinion of me or anything I should choose to retweet. And yet, the ‘what the f*ck was that?’ feeling lingered with me. Perhaps when it comes to putting myself out there writerly-wise I am yet a delicate little blossom amongst the flowering spring time field of life. (BTW, don’t quote me on that b*llshit I just spouted regarding flora and seasons. I’ll categorically deny it along with making rude gestures behind your back.)

Exhibit B: Puffin could barely be bothered to show up for the photo.
So yeah—behaviour and putting yourself out there. That’s what I thought we’d talk about today. Exhibit A is my dog, Astrid the Schnauzer. Astrid is an idiot and afraid of everything. But isn’t she pretty? Exhibit B is my cat, Puffin. (P.S. wording of Puffin's note inspired by writer Dan Dalton) Puffin gives not a whit about a single thing. If I won’t deliver pats on  demand then he’ll go rub up against a piece of furniture to get the scratching he needs before prowling off to make sweet-sweet love to one of the kid’s stuffed toys. Somewhere between these two care factors lies common sense. This is my theory.

Trolls and douchebags exist. This is a universal truth. Knowing when to walk away quietly muttering or to turn off to the silliness entirely is the balance we must seek in our ongoing search for inner happiness. Developing the emotional resources and fortitude to rise above the slag and slur is a required skill if you’re going to embrace the twitter, facebook, google+ barrage of being-ness necessary for a little self promotion. And let’s not kid ourselves, a little self promotion is necessary at times. Of course, spamming people every five minutes about our latest erotic wonderland of bad puns and body parts is sh*t behavior. Don’t doubt it and don’t do it.

And so I have resolved to compromise and read some reviews (because you never know, you might just learn something of use with regards to the way you’re wrangling words) whilst not engaging with the nut jobs to the best of my ability. And I'm going to do my utmost to take ALL OF IT with a grain of salt. For some people witty demolition of others is a favoured past time. Whatever. Good on them. Let them preen while we get on with our work. Thoughts?

Oh, and here's the actual Dog Shaming Tumblr link...


  1. Love the shame photos :) and love this blog! Unfortunately, we like to think we can be immune to other people's words, especially the words from people we don't even know. Somehow, we are not the warriors we hope to be. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me!" Bollocks! How many phrases can you quote of hurtful words people have said to you? As you are such a young blossom, time may harden you with age...but as you care deeply for others, it's only natural that their opinions have some effect on you. A couple of mantras for you, "Don't let the bastards get you down!" and "You can't please all of the people, all of the time. Be happy with pleasing some of the people, some of the time."

    1. Hi Kim! Glad you like the blog and the shame pics of the pets. I dig your mantras. I think they are very very accurate. :) Thanks for dropping by, much appreciated.