Today, I reacted like many bloggers would and felt so badly that a good friend of mine felt attacked, that I nearly caved. I nearly took my post down. That would have been a very bad thing.
I forgot where I came from and what I know. I let my feelings get into the game. Some of you know I’m a former journalist and newspaper editor. What I’ve not said online yet, is that I’ve won awards for both my investigative journalism and my editorials, from the Arizona Newspaper Association and the Arizona Chapter of the National Press Women. Why is that important? Here’s why:
I wrote a blog post – Wait, Wait, Wait, - in exactly the correct editorial format. Unlike other forms of journalism, which require complete impartiality and no usage of slanted words or expression of opinion – an editorial is supposed to present a point of view, elicit emotions, and hopefully sway opinions. It is also supposed to state facts and provide references for the reader.
When I presented the blog posts of Rob Guthrie (someone I consider a friend and I highly respect), and the comments made on them by others, as a starting point for my post (editorial) he took that personally. It wasn’t intended that way, and frankly, if I’d started out with “some people think” I wouldn’t have been effective or correct.
In my summation, which referred to a possible assessment team for the worth of writers before they could be published on Amazon, I was attempting to elicit emotions and sway opinions, very definitely. Not, however, in the way it turned out. This was not a reference to Rob, as a person or member of the Indie author community.
Why did I feel a need to come back to this? For two reasons, the first being to regain my self-respect and secondly, to clarify what this was all about.
It is very tough to write about important things. You must develop a thick skin and be willing to ward off personal attacks, because they will come. I know from experience. I’ve lost my edge, obviously, and have actually chosen not to write about controversial subjects, because having my motives questioned and assaulted for two years wore me out. I also prefer to live in the light – enjoying the happy times – writing stories I hope will encourage, inspire and make people laugh.
Because, I don’t want to return to this subject over and over, I’m going to go into one more aspect of this whole argument over whether Indie writers should be subjected to a review of some sort. Let me say here, that I do not consider myself a great writer. At best, I’m decent and a fairly good storyteller (a different question, altogether). I could very well be one of the people not to make it past such a review.
I have read comments in favor of instituting a process like this from writers, who would themselves suffer from such an inspection. I don’t think anyone has honestly addressed this. One very adamant proponent wrote one of the first books I ever bought for my Kindle. It was so atrocious I couldn’t get past the first five pages. A prominent writer, who has wisely stayed out of the fray, suffered from bad formatting until someone pointed it out to her. So did I, until a very kind Twitter friend, gave me the heads up.
This whole thing is still a learning process. It really is. I’m still having trouble navigating it, aren’t you? If you’ve got it completely licked, I salute you.
That’s it. No more diatribes from me, and it will probably be a long time before I test the toughness of my hide again. I don’t like it here.