Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG June 2014

The Insecure Writers Support Group posts on the first Wednesday of every month (except Smarch).  That is today!

Truthfully, I nearly packed it in.  I mean, I nearly gave up on posting to this blog.  Not because I stopped considering myself to be a writer (that's not gonna change) but because I had drifted away from the point of blogging about my perspective as a writer.  Part of the reason doesn't even have to do with anything I've done here.  Readers over at Scouring Monk may or not realize (or care) that I stopped posting my Zooropa strips there.  I started receiving feedback that didn't seem to realize what I've been doing with them, so I figured people were just tired of it and didn't feel like just saying so (people rarely are that direct on the Internet; we're a very passive aggressive digital community).  So I just took that ball and went home.  Nearly did that here, too, as a result.  I got a comment from one of the Geek Twins (you can't please them all both) concerning something that really didn't have anything to do with him.  I'm only addressing the situation directly because of another situation from earlier this year, also concerning Scouring Monk rather than this blog.  For a good number of months I participated in the Armchair Squid's Cephalopod Coffeehouse virtual book club.  It's a bloghop exactly like IWSG, but with a new linky list every month.  Now, when I periodically say I don't play well with others (such as this whole post), you will know what I mean (in case you didn't already).  Andrew Leon had been adding somewhat related posts onto those lists (several each month) for all that time.  It's not like I never clicked the links.  Each time I checked they weren't actually about books.  Which is what the Cephalopod Coffeehouse is all about.  So I got fed up with that and made a comment over at his blog.  No big deal.  He just deleted it.  But then Squid made an anonymous comment on his blog about playing nice.  I knew it was about me.  I said so.  He made a vague comment in return about hoping I wouldn't stop participating after I suggested maybe that's what I should do.  But I did stop participating.

Now (here you get a new paragraph), lately Andrew has been submitting actual book talk links to the list.  That's fine.  I hadn't really been thinking about it that way, but I guess the whole reason I reacted the way I did was because it was basically Squid's fault for keeping all of Andrew's bad links in the list to begin with.  I tend to start thinking like this.  I assume Squid was fine with Andrew's antics because they actually know each other in real life.  Maybe they don't.  I can't keep all these relationships straight.  I know Squid knows Mock, and that Andrew to me is better known as part of Pat Dilloway's dedicated circle.  I know that Andrew and Squid and Mock are all teachers.  Anyway, I have a history of not agreeing with Andrew's thought process (although bizarrely we sometimes randomly, completely sync up, such as our positive opinion of Saving Mr. Banks), and so that had a huge role to play in why I ended up making a comment about his Cephalopod Coffeehouse habits (at that time).  When I read a blog and don't agree with their thought process, I don't feel like making a contrary comment after all their posts.  I just stop reading them.  No one on the Internet wants to have conversations.  This is a land of histrionics and disagreements.  (And cats.)  Or unconditional support.  Which I can't do.  (This makes me a bad person in some ways.)

All this dirty laundry...This isn't the way the IWSG/A-to-Z Challenge folks (either those who participate in these things or are associated with those who do and/or have) behave toward one another.  I know this.  I'm a rebel with low readership.  I'm talking about any of this because that's my thought process this month.  This is definitely a problem for a writer working on a blog for readers who spend all their time supporting each other without really giving it a second thought.  I give everything a second thought.  And a third thought.  And so on.  I quit Squid's club, and stopped reading his blog entirely, and by the rules of reciprocity, he gave up completely on me, too.  The only person who doesn't follow these rules is Pat Dilloway.  I still can't explain that.  Perhaps you are aware of my other great blogging faux pas from early in the year: giving Pat the silent treatment for a few months after he gave Pale Moonlight a devastating review.  In fact, that's exactly what the subject was from the most recent incident I mentioned at the start of this.  I know Pat's instincts pretty well at this point.  I knew he wouldn't even come close to liking the book.  And so it was not at all surprising that he didn't.  All this time since, I've been trying to explain why it hasn't affected my creative thought process so much as my blogging experience, why I wonder why I should bother.

I blunder all the time.  I can't be the shiny happy blogger.  If that means I have to spend an entire IWSG post talking about matters that sometimes don't have anything to do with actual writing, then so be it.  Because being a writer in this context also means being a blogger.  And being a blogger has become so much more complicated since people actually started reading my material.  I still don't know how that happened.  I don't remember how I stumbled into Alex Cavanaugh.  But then I did the A-to-Z for the first time, and suddenly I had readers, full of expectations, ones I had never even considered before.  I was writing long before I had readers, but suddenly these readers are coming up with comments that aren't all that relevant to what I'm doing.  I just don't get that.  I get that I don't overlap in my thought process with a lot of other people.  I've dealt with that my whole life.  That, apparently, just is not going to change, even in the expanded pool of people available on the Internet.  I get that people in the IWSG are here to support each other no matter what.  But what I'd really like is someone (anyone) who gets what I'm trying to do.

And so every setback is a cause to make me insecure.  So there's that tie-in with the point of this particular club.  When I spend months trying to explain what Pale Moonlight is, even after the Dilloway review, and still get the comment that I should just forget it, I think that's completely beside the point.  Having this blog is all about my perspective.  If it's not, what's the point?  I'm not here to rationalize why someone didn't like my book.  I guess I'm not even here to convince anyone to read my book.  I've found that just doesn't work.  People read books by bloggers they like, not books they like.  (Most of the time, they end up liking those books anyway.  So you see why that whole thing baffled me.)  I can't say things like this without alienating everyone.  You guys are the definition of support.  But only as long as the rules are adhered to.  The people who define those rules, they have the greatest support around.  Everyone loves them.  They're lovable.  I get that.

I kept this ball on the field, but this is to say that I'm going to play by my rules.  The consequences don't really seem to matter.  Bad reputation?  For what?  For being honest?  For calling a spade a spade?  In the best of all possible worlds, Candide is running around experiencing all kinds of shenanigans, and people like honesty.  I don't know.  It doesn't matter.

Boom.

20 comments:

  1. First, it is your blog, so talk about what you want to.
    Sorry about the whole coffeehouse situation.
    If a book's not for me, I just stop reading. Life's too short. True I won't post bad reviews, but the bottom line, I don't have time to read something I'm not enjoying.
    Sometimes it does get complicated, especially when we aren't sure what others expect.
    And how we found each other - I have no idea...

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    1. This whole post was me trying to uncomplicate things. Emphasis on "trying."

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  2. Tony you are who you are. With that being said I think people are people, we expect different things. Wow I just got a Depeche Mode song stuck in my head.

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    1. That's fine. But it's becomes annoying when people don't attempt to see where I'm coming from, even when I try to explain.

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    2. Difference in opinion is one thing, being obtuse is another.
      Let them eat cake...

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    3. And preferably not the flavor they really like. Just to show 'em.

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  3. Jeez, you just pissing everyone off!

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  4. But seriously, not to start another tiff, you need to stop obsessing about that bad review. It was almost 4 months ago! I've probably got a half-dozen bad reviews in that time.

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    1. Technically I'm not obsessing over it. I'm obsessing over an equally unexpected comment.

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  5. I'm going down the IWSG list instead of up. I figure I'll meet more bloggers I haven't already met that way. So after reading your post, I tried to click the Pale Moonlight link. It didn't work. Sorry. The only bit of advice I can offer is the words I finally heard to a Disney song a couple of days ago. "Let it go." I'm that out of touch with movies, LOL! But I found out long ago that holding a grudge will poison you, so I state the facts, give my opinion, and try to make peace. If that doesn't work, I let it go. Yeah, right. Well, I do try to make peace. But letting go still might take me a week or so. I keep practicing. Sometimes the person remains in my life, sometimes not. By I have a clear conscience, and that's what matters. Whatever else happens, even if you give up on IWSG, don't give up on writing. It's great therapy. It helped me get over my anger at the illegal aliens who ran over my son with a truck and kept going. He's fine now, and that helps.

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    1. p.s. For some reason, I couldn't follow your blog on GFC. I've been getting errors lately. But I followed you on Google +.

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    2. I do try and let it go. This whole post is part of trying to let it go. I figure as long as someone set up a whole outlet for exploring/explaining our insecurities, I might as well do that. It's the whole reason I did this post at all. I wanted to work out the whole process.

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  6. I'm assuming I'm the Geek Twin who said the comment that upset you, only because I'm not as diplomatic as my brother. I also don't have any idea what it was I said, and have been going through my comments, but am not sure which one upset you. So I'll only issue a generic apology. Whatever it was, I'm sorry.

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    1. It's fine. This was my way of shuffling it off. It's all good.

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  7. Sorry we upset you Tony (I see Nigel apologized but I'll apologize too). Personally I find your unique perspective refreshing in a world of "me toos." I admit it took some getting used to, but that's true of everyone I guess. Anyhoo, everyone else said just be you and that’s all we can be.

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    1. I always figured I was difficult to read.

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  8. So funny. I think you are an acquired taste, Tony. It's not something everyone likes, I agree with that. You are way too complicated, rebel, and there is something to the way you say things that sounds like you have the boxing gloves on. You have unique points of view and you are very opinionated. I honestly disagree with your point of view most of the times. You've ruffled my scales once or twice and it is obvious you and I don't play the Reciprocate Visit Game. I come here and read you because you intrigue me. No, I don't get what you're doing must of the time, but I still find your posts interesting. I absolutely love the fact that you speak your mind with no regard whatsoever if people agrees or disagrees with you. Man, that's huge, and I respect that. And just to be clear here, I don't read stuff because the writer is my friend and being my friend doesn't guarantee I will like the writing. Be it book or blog, I read only what I truly like and interests me.

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    1. I used to believe I could convince people with what I was writing. It's probably not the case. But that won't stop me from writing what I believe.

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  9. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog for IWSG post day. I'll admit, I'm a sensitive person. I'm easily offended by what others think, do, or say about me and my writing. I'm working on that. I'm married to the complete opposite. He's blunt, to the point, says what's on his mind, and definitely walks this earth giving people his two cents worth. I often think, why were we brought together? Well, I can only come up with one reason, to teach me. I usually sugar coat everything I tell people. But why? It doesn't help a single soul if I'm not honest with them.

    Not sure why I'm spilling my guts here on your blog, but I get the feeling you speak your mind and I guess I'm saying, that's okay. It's good to be who you are and express the way you think and feel. I'll be the first to admit, people who are able to express themselves honestly will live a lot longer than someone like me who crams it all down and ingests it.

    I'm learning that in the grand scheme of this thing I call life, it doesn't matter if the rest of the world loves me, or thinks I rock. What counts is belief in myself. My husband would say, if you don't love yourself, nobody will, and everyone else can go to... well, we know what he'd tell me.

    Intriguing post!

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    1. My sister and her husband are exactly like that. But they're a good match. I'm glad you stopped by.

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