WARNING: Naughty language and sweeping generalizations occur here. Deal with it. And yes, this is a topic we tend to keep coming back to.
|Talk to the hedgehog.|
Writers are weird sorts. Introverts. Shut-ins. The kind of people who have too many cats, but instead of cats we have books. And sometimes cats too. I mean, why restrict yourself, right? Our uniform is pajamas or a track suit if we’re feeling fancy. Our social skills can be hit and miss, and also, we like a drink or two. Occasionally, we’re considered neurotic but that’s bullshit. *awkward laugh* Why? Did you hear something?
In times gone by, it didn’t matter that we were often perceived as being a little odd. We could go about our daily job of making up adventures for our imaginary friends and it was all good. In fact, it was grand. To a large extent, the real world could go take a flying fuck. If our editor wanted to give us a hard time about Mr Fletcher’s sudden inexplicable interest in wearing his wife’s underwear in Chapters three thru five, she couldn’t just dash off an email or summon us to Skype. And interaction with our audience was limited to the odd signing or some such.
But then things changed. The internet happened. Suddenly, everyone could publish and the competition was fiercer than ever. Social media was the go and writers had to promote themselves, to throw themselves out into the wild and wanton world of the buying public. But creating something requires you to have delicate little artistic feelings. They’re what cause you to dream and care enough to create in the first place. They’re what spur you on when it seems like Heidi the Hedgehog’s declaration of love isn’t quite emotive enough, no matter how many ways you rewrite it. *tears on the keyboard*
Delicate little artistic feelings can, however, also hinder you, the bastards. When a crit partner says she doesn’t believe Heidi truly gives a shit about Gary the gnome, it hurts. When the first one star review comes in and there’s a gif of someone running Heidi over with a lawnmower leaving nothing but a splatter of blood behind, it hurts. Your delicate little artistic feelings turn to depression and despair followed by the mother of all ranty rages. All of these feelings are valid. Taking to the internet to voice them to the masses, however, is dumb. The internet is not only instantaneous, but it is forever. You cannot control who sees what. So talk to your friends. Talk to a hedgehog. Wear someone else’s underwear if you think it will help. Don’t take it public. Whenever possible, keep your delicate little feelings in check and off the internet. The end.