I Have To Admit… They’re Winning.
So, I spent a lot of time this week thinking about whether or not I would respond to a couple of comments that came at me in terms of how I respond to people who say mean things. Y’all know my first reaction–what the hell? So at first, I decided to just not say anything. Then, I started an author’s note that just said “I deleted your comment without reading it,” because I did delete one comment without reading it. It came from “Mystery Reader,” so I immediately saw “Fanfiction Guest Troll” and didn’t read it. Then I proceeded to go through my emails and private messages and contact me’s only to find that there were about five to seven responses that said something on the lines of I need to stop zinging people because they have an opinion.
At first, I went past them and tried not to pay attention to them because seven people out of 2000–what’s that, like 0.35%? Not a big number, right? But then, I got a message from one of my long-time readers (that I’ve most likely lost now) that I read about four times. She didn’t say anything particularly cruel or insulting. I felt like she took a couple of shots, but nothing that was really cruel. I had to think about my response because I didn’t want it to come off as a zing, but I did want to address what she said.
The more I responded to what she said, the more I felt hurt and I will admit that I cried a bit (please don’t tease me). It wasn’t because she said anything particular hurtful–even though some of the things that she said were blatantly incorrect. It’s because I have a degree in business and I know the power of surveys. I know that a survey represents a certain percentage of the population that didn’t speak up. I know that these five to seven people represent a certain percentage of readers who feel the same way–like I should just shut up and stand there “like a man at a mark” and let people throw darts at me.
That’s the part that hurts.
Everybody that came over here is fully aware of what happened to me on Fanfiction. Unless they were directly referred to the blog by someone, everybody that came over here knew that I left Fanfiction because the insults were brutal and very personal–I know none of you that were there could ever forget the string of racial slurs!
She even suggested that I purposely make my readers attack people that say bad things to me. What the hell is that? Although I did say a lot and none of it was disrespectful, I knew that there was really nothing I could say to get through to her. She had already besmirched me defending myself, so if I defended myself against her, what good would it do? If she’s still subscribed and she reads this, I can actually see her saying to herself, “Yep, I knew she was going to do that! Now watch her people attack me!” …I can’t win!
I realized that it was a losing battle, so I just thanked her for her prior support, gave her some other story suggestions, and ended the email.
I thought coming to my own forum would at least free me from some of this. I thought that if I couldn’t get away from the people who still wanted to attack the story or the characters or the writing that I would at least be able to escape the naysayers who thought that I should shut up and take it, because these people followed me from Fanfiction and they saw the abuse that I was taking over there. The fact that I had a long-time reader of more than two years see that, know that, and then say that she has lost passion for my story because I still won’t take this crap–let me tell you, that really hurts.
If people who attack my story and my characters have long-time, once-faithful readers feeling like I and the people who defend me are the bullies, then they’re winning. She stopped and told me. How many people just left? How many people have just quietly unsubscribed because they feel like I am bullying the people who are actually bullying me?
How many people won’t even read this?
I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not even trying to garner support. I just wanted to make my feelings known on my forum. I may take a step back from this for a while, I don’t know, because to be honest, they are winning.
AND PLEASE! DON’T ATTACK THE GIRL, BECAUSE IF YOU DO, THAT’S GOING TO BE MY FAULT, TOO!