Okay, so I was going to do another first draft post on finishing what you start, and I think I still will, probably on Thursday, but right now I have to talk about this because it is REALLY REALLY BOTHERING ME.
It's this whole Stop the GR Bullies thing.
For those of you who don't know, a group of anonymous people, who may or may not be writers, has taken it upon themselves to make a website--which I'm not linking to--where they post the real names of several Goodreads reviewers that they label bullies along with everything else they can dig up, including pictures, hometowns, spouse's names, where they like to eat and speculations on whether or not they are fit parents and HOLY CRAP DID I JUST TYPE THAT WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Okay look, I get it. I'm an author with a book coming out in seven months and ARCs are almost done and I am TERRIFIED that people won't like it. And I know this new entwining of author and reader on the Internet is causing all kinds of tension and problems and hurt feelings on both sides.
But this? This is messed up. It's making me sick to my stomach. I don't want to be defended like this. I don't want reviewers--even ones who may hate my book and say mean things to me--to have their private lives smeared all over the Internet.
Look, I love books. I've built my life around books. I read them, I write them, I talk about them and I sell them. BUT BOOKS ARE NOT PEOPLE. Our books are not our actual babies and reviewers are not actually hurting them. So what if a bunch of people on the Internet don't like what we write? Have you seen the one star reviews of Harry Potter? Of Lord of the Rings? Of Pride and Prejudice?
So someone doesn't like our books. Maybe they say we're hacks or morons or worse, maybe they use all kinds of bad language and say mean things that they would never ever say to our faces.
At the end of the day when I close my computer and walk away, I still have friends and family who love me. I still have a wonderful supportive husband and a cuddly, hilarious cat and a job I'm proud of. I still have the warmth of sunlight on my arms and the sight of branches against the moon and the smell of fresh-washed grass after it rains. I still have hands to type and feet to dance and a voice to tell my stories with. And no bad review or mean reviewer can ever, ever take that away.
But tracking down and posting someone's real-life information without their consent? And linking it to posts that accuse them of bullying? That affects people in their real lives. That's something that goes beyond the computer and it is
And it needs to stop.
Foz Meadows: Bullying and Goodreads
Stacia Kane: I don't need you to avenge me, thanks.
Her Hands, My Hand: Endangering others because they hurt your feelings.
The amazing Beth Revis on how she handles bad reviews.