I have had many emails, comments, and questions concerning my Tuesday post about Lauren Pippa’s allegations of cyber-bullying. Rarely, do I respond to comments and emails because I find that in many cases it just leads to a huge debate or argument – something I am unwilling to engage in. Arguing and debating online, in my somewhat humble opinion, is about as intelligent as the invention of decaffeinated coffee. However, none of your responses have been unread or unwarranted. I’ve enjoyed all of them, honestly. Still, I see that this crazy incident is in no way blowing over nicely and so I’m going to address a few of the questions and concerns I’ve seen posted for me and then I’m going to move on – as I had intended on doing the split-second after I posted the blog in the first place.
First off, it is true that I didn’t do the research myself. I posted as I felt led to do so based on the information that was divulged to me by an alarming number of concerned and angry authors. Shame on me (if you think I’m in the wrong), for not researching. To me, it’s really not as different as rating a book with anticipation stars – a judgement based on what little you know about something. Why didn’t I do the research? Because although I could have found the time to do so, I chose not to. My time, though it may be squander-worthy to you, is precious to me.
Second, as authors we should have thicker skin; I agree. Still, we are human and as a licensed counselor, I encourage a regular release of inward pain. To keep anger and hurt inside is an extremely unhealthy way to live. Sometimes, you just have to vent. Will it hurt your career? Maybe. Will you piss people off? More than likely. Every decision comes with a consequence. But, to reiterate – we are human and the saying of “sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never harm me” is one of the biggest lies ever taught. Some of our temperaments are more likely to bounce back easily from a broken leg than a broken spirit.
In the case of reviews (in general) – Constructive criticism is wonderful. Attacks are rude and unnecessary. Choose your words. Not only does it truly assist authors in their work, but it makes you appear far more intelligent and reputable as well.
Third, I do not plan to boycott Goodreads. It’s no different than the ignorance and abuse one will endure on Amazon or even Facebook (among thousands of other sites). Like I stated before, as authors we place ourselves and our work in the focus of many. We become a target at times. If we withdrawal from even one of these sites because we disagree with policies or feel abused by a select few members of that site, then we risk not reaching our full potential. Reaching the fans that will LOVE our work. Some people really hate my book. Who cares? If I threw in the towel, no one else would get the opportunity to hate it as well – or (hopefully) love it.
Fourth, it is also true that I have not looked further into the matter. Again, I spoke my peace on the 20th and have moved on. People can either agree or disagree with me and I can respect those opinions, especially the one presented in a mature packaging. I’m not here to referee. I’m here to write. I do know, though, that there are always two sides of a story and where there’s smoke there is always fire. People, including myself, have been given the opportunity to sound off, vent, or defend and now it’s time to move forward with our lives. We are each important in our roles of this world, why waste it on hatred, bickering, and arguing? Shaving our armpits should take precedence over this kind of behavior.
I’m sure there were truths and falsities on both sides of the coin and that have no doubt that Ms. Pippa was, in fact, the target of some pretty nasty cyber-bullying. It doesn’t take much for that to happen for I’ve been a target myself. Naturally, just as reviewers are going to stick together, I’m going to side with the author. It’s far easier to be a reviewer (for I’ve been one of those, too) than an author. Reviewers have the platform to praise, complain, and in some sad cases, attack. Authors are on the other end of that. We can write in attack of something or someone that we are passionate in, but ultimately in the end, it’s still our work that receives the criticism (even when our work IS criticism or judgement). Example: My debut novel is being reviewed/criticized and in reference of my own voiced judgement, I killed my real-life high school bully in my book. (And man, did it feel good!) Still, others may hate my book. It happens.
Lastly, I really do appreciate all of your responses; I’m just not going to engage in a full discussion about something that ultimately doesn’t require me beyond my initial concern. I’ve said my peace and have long moved on. (See a theme here?)
This is not directed at anyone in particular BUT – I sincerely don’t understand how writers partake in so many arguments and debates over issues like this (as well as FB games??) time after time (day after day) and still are capable of releasing quality reading material to their fans. It’s mind-boggling to me. I set aside working hours – eight hours a day – to write, edit, or promote. I blogged during my lunch break that day and then focused the rest of my efforts on my work – my upcoming release. I want to provide the best to my readers for they are my constant drive in writing – even through writer’s blocks (which totally suck!). I don’t want to waste my time and efforts on something that will distract me from providing a kick ass story to my readers. After my eight hours is up, I become a full-time mom and wife and leave work in my office where it belongs. Family, aside from writing, is my greatest happiness.
My rant – for lack of a better word – is officially done.
I encourage everyone to move on and start living our lives! Life is too short and should never be wasted.
Olivia K. Wilder