I know I have been very quiet. It’s been a busy and dark couple months for me. And then there is the news (Think of the treatment of Eric Garner vs. the treatment of Cliven Bundy and the militia who rallied to his cause and tell me there isn’t a problem with racism in our justice system). After I wrap up my term paper and final next week, I will be back to blogging regularly.
However, I had to break my silence for this: A picture perfect example of how authors can become complete and total jackasses.
This actually beats the famous Jacqueline Howett/Greek Seaman Meltdown of 2011.
This is why I tend to keep a step back from reviews in general, even at this lowly stage. I appreciate that people have enjoyed my work and the kindness in their good reviews, but I have seen too many artists at varying levels become encapsulated in a bubble of praise to the point that they overestimate their talent and skills. (And the more famous they are, the more protected they are from even objective criticism.) So many people tell them they are awesome that they become a legend in their own mind and when a more critical reviewer, or reality in general, comes around they can’t handle it with maturity and objectivity. Their world is shattered and they react like this.
I have even seen some writers become worse because they assume that everything they do is wonderful and they stop trying.
Enjoy good reviews, but don’t live off them. In fact, it is wise to sometimes put yourself in places where people are going to be objective and pick your work to pieces, like a roundtable/workshop. It’s hard to improve surrounded by people who do nothing but blow sunshine up your skirts.
And once you get to the publishing stage where people are paying for your work, don’t respond to any review, good or bad. Rejoice over them, rage over them, cry over them, learn from them, Privately. Do NOT respond to them.