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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beware of The Splinter - Warning for all Bloggers

Yesterday I mentioned an embarrassing incident involving a splinter.  So I thought I would keep the theme for another day. 
While surfing through the blogosphere awhile back I happened upon a blog that was peppered with negativity.  This particular blogger has a book out.  

YAY, right?
But I didn't leave the blog with the happy-for-you kind of feeling I normally get visiting author blogs.  I take a lot of pleasure in hearing about the things that happen behind the scenes.  Whether it's deciding on a cover, doing revisions, scheduling talks at book stores, whatever.  I LOVE hearing about those things that until a few months ago I was blissfully ignorant of.

But this blogger/author made sarcastic semi-whiny remarks about the things that needed to be done to promote the book.  I think it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but you know there's a lot of truth passed on through humor.  I wrote a paper on it in school once.  But that's not my point.

Imagine you are admiring a fine piece of (wood) furniture. 

Maybe it's a desk or a dining room table or a bookcase.  Heck, make it a piano, I don't care. All that matters is that it looks good to you.

The wood is exotic, expensive, and divine.

The craftsmanship is superb. 

The style is fresh. 

The piece takes your breath away. 

You run your hand lovingly across the surface and a teeny tiny splinter embeds itself in your finger.

It's so small you can't see it.

But it HURTS.

You try to pluck it out, but it's so small you can't get a good grip on it.

Your finger swells and is annoyingly painful for several days.  Might even get infected. (I'll stop the analogy before gangrene sets in. You can thank me later)

How do you feel about that piece of furniture now?

THAT is what negativity does to your blog, my friends. 

I'm not saying you need to be all sunshine and roses 24/7.  I'll accuse you of being a Stepford Blogger.  Even I'M not happy all the time (pretty close though).

What I am saying is be careful about your complaints.  This particular blogger would have been better off (in my opinion) doing a full-fledged post venting about having to do ABC and explaining why it was so difficult.  

Everyone is allowed to vent or rant now and again. 

But this wasn't a vent or a rant.  It was a comment here, a remark there, a 'joke' in the profile.  It was too much.

Instead, this blogger let the frustration seep through the cracks disguised (vaguely) as humor.  The result?  It poisoned the whole blog.  They seemed unappreciative of their great fortune.  HELLO?  You have a BOOK out!  I can find a thousand writers who would GLADLY trade spots with you. 

Oh--and to answer the question before it gets asked, NO this was not your blog or anyone I normally follow, I'm not even really sure how I ended up there.  I'm keeping their identity secret just to be nice.

I'm sure you've run across similar blogs.  Without outing the guilty, what was the worst offense you've encountered?


Creepy Query Girl said...

Eh. I don't think I've come across one like that but if there's one thing that makes me wince a little, it's unwarranted snarkiness at any level. Whether its an agent complaining about querries or stupid questions or leaving twitter comments making fun of people who shot them an email question it just...I dunno. I understand the need to vent but in that case, turn around in your chair to your colleage and vent. Don't go splattering it all over the internet. IT might just burn a bridge later on down the road.

Candyland said...

Oh man! I've seen this before on blogs. It's a little upsetting when they don't appreciate what they have and we're struggling to get.Boo on them.

Ann Best said...

I've experienced the effects of negativity in blogland, and in life in general. It's definitely best to avoid going public with our complaints. But we're human and need to whine sometimes. I whine to my mirror!

Lenny said...

hi miss vicki! so far i didnt find any blogs that were like that. but if i did id click off real quick and for sure not go back again. my brothers check the blogs i go to and my followers so i can know their nice people. thats why i come to you blog cause your nice and say cool stuff.
...hugs from lenny

Matthew Rush said...

There is a fine line between sarcasm and bitter hate-filled gooey resentment.

Karen Walker said...

I agree with you, Miss Vicki. I guess I'd check back to see if this was a frequent thing with this blogger or they were simply having a bad day, which I have been guilty of as well. I admit I've whined a wee bit on my blog, but usually try to roll a lesson in with the whine.

Jen said...

Here the whole time I thought you were talking about me. Phew, glad I don't have to worry abou that anymore. I was about to post a very nasty blog post about you and how upset you made me, glad I don't have to (I don't like doing two posts in one day) LOL

Okay so in all seriousness, I agree with you. If you are having a blue day still make it a fun blue day, if you're pissed that your characters aren't talking to you, rather than whining about it duel it out in dialogue on your blog, be creative when whining, so it doesn't come off as whiny. Negativity doesn't get you far... this is proven!

aspiring_x said...

very good point!
taken to heart!
(sometimes though snarkiness makes me laugh... is that wrong?)

Susan Fields said...

It always gets under my skin a little to see someone complaining when they've got a book deal. How I'd LOVE to be in their place!