*Warning: Angry Rant Ahead*
The surest way for a follower to piss off a writer is to criticize them for not finishing their books, or constantly asking when it will be released.
I understand the excitement and anticipation while waiting. I’ve been there (see obsession with Patrick Rothfuss and Amy Bartol). I’m also there every day as I’m revising and revising and revising my book, just so I can send it off to someone else, who will tell me to revise it again. Do you really think your favorite authors aren’t just as antsy as you are for the release of their book?
Elle Casey, who I am friends with on Facebook, recently posted a status about how frustrating it is to get hate mail from fans, who threaten to unfollow her and stop reading her books if she doesn’t release them by a deadline date. Hugh Howey also has a lot of these followers, who are constantly belittling his personal opinions on Facebook and threatening to stop reading his books. I really applaud him for giving zero fucks and just blocking them all together.
I completely understand setting a deadline for yourself and your fans. It helps your productivity and keeps you on task, giving everyone something to look forward to. However, sometimes real life gets in the way; tragedy strikes, family emergencies happen, sickness happens, and other priorities become more important. Those priorities are just as frustrating for your favorite author as they are for you, but unlike you, the author is the one having to deal with it.
Recently, I had to deal with some negative comments about my own book not being finished, even though the person who broke my spirit at the time knew full well that I was excited about it being almost completed. I was told that if I wasn’t wasting time on social media, my blogs, etc. that I would have been finished by now. Here’s what I have to say to that: Fuck off. Seriously, fuck off!
It’s really hard to find ANY spare time when I’m trying to care for and chase around a toddler. My first job is being a mom, so when I do finally get a chance to sit down without him climbing all over me, sometimes I just want to do something mindless for a little while. And, believe it or not, as I’m on social media sites I’m also looking for books to review, I’m checking out what other authors are doing, I’m learning tips to become a better writer and self publisher, and I’m looking for uplifting support. When I’m updating my blogs, I’m working on building an audience, I’m writing as a warm up or just for the fucking fun of it. When I watch or post stupid cat videos and pictures, or debate with trolls as a breastfeeding advocate, it’s because those are things I enjoy doing and have a right to do because guess what? I’m a fucking human with other hobbies and interests. That being said, the majority of time when I’m not writing my book, I’m still writing, reading, and learning in order to make my book better.
As I write this, Little Bear is climbing up and down in my lap, trying to push buttons on my computer. This is life and we learn to work around it, but sometimes it’s still fucking hard.
So, next time you’re about to open your mouth to say something that might make or break someone’s spirit that day, find some empathy and be supportive instead of being a dick.
I write for myself like most authors, otherwise I wouldn’t be working so damn hard to get it done before summer. I enjoy writing for fun because it’s just one way I become better at it, regardless if it’s on social media, my blogs, or journals.
Finally, unless you are actually writing the book, shut the hell up because you clearly don’t know what it takes to put a high quality piece together, otherwise you wouldn’t be so openly hateful and hurtful. If you can’t be supportive, let me be the first to show you where the unfollow button is.