When to Be Nice, and When to Keep The Pie Hole Shut
I have been diligently reading Breaking the Rules this week, I'm a little over halfway through.
I can't read all the time, though; fortunately it's easier to minimize my screen while I'm blogging than to hurredly shove my Kindle in a drawer if my boss comes in, so I can still get my fiction fix.
Anyway. I was perusing Twitter the other day, while I wasn't reading, and an author, whose work I like, posted a link to a blog where someone said some pretty mean, critical stuff about her. I commented, because I thought what the blogger said was mean, and I felt like I should say: "Hey, if you don't like her work, don't read it. If you don't like HER, keep it to yourself." Of course, I tried to say this in a rambling, blithering way, and I suspect that I probably should have just kept my mouth shut. Or my fingers still, as the case may be.
I have been learning a TON of useful stuff about being a writer since I started blogging, and it's not all about not using adverbs and how to "show not tell". I am learning the business lingo, and maybe, one of these days, when I finish something, I'll be educated enough to pimp my work. I've also learned that maybe I shouldn't offer to review something and blog about it, unless I've already read it and love it. I don't mean I am unable/unwilling to post an honest opinion of something. If something doesn't work for me, I don't think it's a terrible thing to say, "This scene didn't work for me because...", but on the other hand, I don't ever want to say, "Wow, this whole thing really was unreadable."
I do understand the Golden Rule of opinions: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". But what are the exceptions? If someone else is being mean to someone, what would you do? On the one hand, it might be best to just stay the hell out of the fight. But if someone is being picked on, and you feel like you need to defend that person, do you speak (type) up? What do you say?
(I just realized that I used "on the other hand" in the paragraph before I used "on the one hand". Hopefully I'll learn to stop doing goofy stuff like that!)
I'm much better at this in person. When one of my kids says something mean about another kid, I know how to shut that down. I know how to bite my tongue during office gossip parties (I know how. I didn't say I actually DO bite my tongue). So what about here in cyberspace? I don't want to get voted off the Island before I've found the immunity idol!