By C. Hope Clark-
In every wood in every spring
there is a different green.
~ J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)
Recently there’s been bru-ha-ha over Goodreads. About how readers and authors don’t mix. How some authors don’t like a lot of the reviews and threaten reviewers, and about how reviewers feel the latitude to crucify writers without ramifications. And I shook my head at the squabble amongst children.
There are trolls out there. I’ve banned them myself.
“Oh, you don’t want my opinion?” I was asked. “This is just about siding with Hope Clark?”
I did not answer. I don’t believe in arguing with children. As the person’s posts escalated, demeaning me and others, feeling free and unchecked, I just blocked her. No drama, no explanation, no last retort. My followers deserve better. My time is worth more.
When you have a Facebook or Twitter account, or blog, or write op-eds anywhere, you are entitled to your opinion. Deliver it with intelligence and professionalism and expect feedback. But it crosses the line of maturity when one side or the other demands to be heard, demands to be right, and curses the other side for being different.
You cannot win arguing with those people. You can’t win arguing period. Because when you reach the level of arguing, which means you ditch adult debate, you are flexing your muscles saying your dad is bigger and can whip your dad. Which sounds like just what it is . . . playground banter. Lately we’re even hearing about adults taking this squabble to the point of threats.
I want to pinch their heads off, on both sides. Nobody able to keep their bloody mouths shut. So many wanting to snap and win. Tell me this…what do you win if you indeed best the other side? You don’t, because you’ve exposed your ass to the world and you can’t unsee what’s been seen. Asses are rarely pretty.
I’ve received some silly reviews, silly in my opinion. I let them stand, mainly because I recognize that reviewer as having an opinion, too. I don’t ask for explanation. Why? The majority of my reviews love the books. That’s my focus, not the oddities. Not the anomalies. Not the folks who feel empowered at a keyboard. I’ll let the numbers speak. Obsessing over the one bad review undermines all the good ones, draws attention to it. Frankly, the good reviews prove that the bad review holds less value.
All without arguing. I repeat . . . all without arguing.
I’ll respect your right to review as you please, and you respect my right to write as I please. My stories may swear, bleed or have sex. You may not like stories that swear, bleed or have sex. But I don’t believe in the reviewer slashing the author, her life, or her beliefs over how she tells a tale. And I don’t believe in an author doing the same against a reviewer.
“I know where you live,” has no place in this profession, from either side. When you take it personal, you show the world you have a thin skin, and that your focus is not where it should be . . . on reading and writing good books.
BIO -C. Hope Clark reviews and loves being reviewed. Her two series, The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Island Mysteries, are published via Bell Bridge Books and are available wherever books are sold. She is also editor of FundsforWriters.com, chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the past 15 years. www.chopeclark.com