Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If you can't say anything nice...

How many times did you hear that as a child? Or do parents even teach their children to be nice these days?

I see it every day in my job. People who are so miserable in their own lives that the only way they know how to feel better is to tear down someone else. I see it on the Kindle boards, in mean-spirited reviews, on Facebook posts. But I was raised to be nice, to not say anything if I can't say something encouraging, to smile in the face of a verbal attack.

Most of the time it serves me well. I can go to sleep at night knowing I didn't deliberately try to hurt someone, tear someone down, destroy their dreams, or ruin their career. Other times I wish I could fight back, that I could tell people exactly what I think. Maybe when I'm in my 80's I can quit caring what other people think and give back as good as I get.

Until then, I will do my best to smile through the mean reviews, to smile at the people at work who take their miserable existence out on me, to not respond when I'm treated unfairly. And I will continue to support my fellow authors who go through the same thing, who sometimes feel like giving up when their hard work goes unappreciated.

For readers, the best thing you can do for your favorite authors is to "like" their books on Amazon, B & N, etc., post a positive review for books you like and refrain from posting a review for a book you didn't like. That's what I do as a reader. There are NYT best-selling authors whose writing style I just can't stand. So I don't read them any more, but I don't post negative reviews because they have others who love their writing and I don't want to discourage anyone from trying their books. Reading is subjective. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean others won't.

I can't stand reality TV shows, but others like them. I can't stand most modern sit coms, but others love them. I hate horrow films, but they have millions of fans. So just because I don't like them, that doesn't mean they're bad. They just aren't for me.


kathi h said...

A huge Amen to that!

Well expressed and timely.

kathi robb harris

Tori Scott said...

Thanks Kathi. I honestly don't understand peoples' need to tear down everyone and everything they come across. Life's too short for meanness, people! Live it with grace and dignity.

Opal Carew said...

I absolutely agree. I never give bad reviews. If I don't like a book, I just don't review it.

I'm amazed when I see someone say "I usually love this author's work, but this one was terrible." I started looking at those reviewers other reviews and I hardly ever see any reviews for those other books they said they liked! That's so sad that they only tell people about the books they don't like.

I always try to be encouraging to people. To me, that's how to have a joyful life!

Tori Scott said...

I've noticed that too, Opal. For some reason, people don't think to review something they like, only what they don't like. I don't mind a critical review if it's actually helpful, but for people to post mean, hateful comments is just wrong. I feel so bad for the authors who get those. They've spent months pouring heart and soul into something, only to be hit with mean-spirited comments.