Um, so I saw a thing, and I thought I’d put it up. Because I think a few people who are writers are still looking at this, so maybe it’ll make someone feel better.
I felt better, cause how I don’t do well at the whole vicious criticism side of being a writer. Like with the meltdown last year. Like how I’m still not on Barnes and Noble.
Oh yeah, if you have a Barnes and Noble ebook machine, go get my stuff at Smashwords. Barnes and Noble have weird policies, and their customers are mean, so I don’t put things up there. Of course, if you have a Barnes and Noble machine and haven’t already worked that out then probably you aren’t reading this, so never mind.
So someone wrote a thing, in which was pointed out something that I’d never really thought of before. Basically, that meanie reviewers are probably only how they are because they’re stupid, or angry, or insecure because people laughed at them for liking their favorite books, or whatever else. They’re fucked up and can’t help it, and it’s about a world of other stuff and not your book.
And this may be obvious to everyone else, but I’d never thougth of it before. Like, ever. So that made me feel better.
So for anyone getting really awful reviews who is, well, upset by that, as you might reasonably be, maybe this will help. Go read the thing. It’s actually about weirdly shitty Amazon reviews on award-winning literary novels, but the same kind of goes for anything. That maybe the reviewer is where the problem is, perhaps, and not neccessarily the book.
The bit I especially muchly liked though was this, about what motivates the evil snark reviewer.
If, however, I did fear, deep inside, that my inability to appreciate any celebrated book betrayed my complete intellectual and aesthetic inadequacy, I would probably be pretty angry. I’d feel the need to stick my oar in and announce [whatever] is actually a crap novel, that it is objectively boring and that the critics who praise it are charlatans. Even if I couldn’t explain exactly why I dislike it, I might want to register that dislike because somebody should be speaking out against this hoax being perpetrated on the public by the literary establishment. [...] I’d want everyone else who, like me, could see through this emperor’s new clothes to know that they are not alone, and get them to tell me I’m not alone. It’s usually those with the least faith in their own opinions who become the most outraged when the consensus does not agree with them.
If I did feel that way, it also probably wouldn’t be my fault. If I had such attitudes, chances are it would be because at some early — or even later — stage in my life, someone with similar anxieties would have taken them out on me and made me feel small and stupid and tacky. And to make myself feel better, I might do something similar to someone else: for example, mock my little brother for reading George R.R. Martin. Petty abuses like this get passed on in pretty much the same way the bigger ones do. All the same, even if we’re not to blame for our insecurities, we are responsible for recognizing them for what they are. And for growing up and getting over it.
Just that. And completely yep to it all, and just wow, because I honestly hadn’t realized.
And also about recognising our own insecurities. I think I am.
And also, um, yep, we should all calm down. I agree! Or, um, throw hissy fits and refuse to play any more. That too. You know, like I do… And then go on about it on our blogs. And then go to Wattpad where you can just delete mean shit whenever you want. Which, you know, means there isn’t much point putting mean shit up there in the first place, so people don’t. Or maybe it means that people at Wattpad are just nicer and better human beings, who knows.
But anyways. Psychology and such in case it helps and you didn’t see it yourselves. I hope it does, because it kind of made me feel better, so there you go.