Monday, August 28, 2006

A mess of ickiness

I know I had no business going there but I was poking around the reviews of my books and found the nastiest, mean-spirited review I’ve had so far. The reviewer seemed so angry at having read my book, it was as if I’d gone to her house and pooped on her lawn. I’ve read some really awful books in my day but I never took them personally. I just figured they weren’t my cup of tea and moved on.

And then I found a blog dedicated to hating Rachael Ray. Apparently if you hate her, you can join and talk crap about her all the live long day. Why would anyone want to spend time and energy being mean?

I could pretend not to understand where they’re coming from, but sadly I do. I’ve been jealous of writers who have had more success than I have. I’ve had that, “why-not-me?” feeling when I read about someone’s six-figure deal in Publisher’s Weekly. And yes, I’ve read books by people I know and thought, wow, that wasn’t so great! But I would never, ever talk crap about them, or go on Amazon and tell potential readers that someone’s work was a piece of trash. Perhaps the difference between me and mean people is that I know how much of a writer’s soul goes into her work. I know what it takes to become someone like Rachael Ray and I don’t begrudge her for all of her hard work.

Well, I feel much better having gotten that off my back. By the way, if you hate my books, it's cool. I probably wouldn't like yours if you had actually written one. (evil laughter)

By the way, as soon as my editor approves my new novella, "Till Death Do Us Part," I'm going to record a mini reading on this blog.

And if you haven't yet, check out Avon Fan Lit!


Louise said...

I will poop on her lawn, if you want me to!

Just kidding. I really appreciate this post. The older I get, the more I come to realize that there are essentially two kinds of people in the world. Those who thrive on positive energy, and those who thrive on negative energy.

Negative-energy people don't feel normal or good about themselves unless they're hurting other people. It gives them a purpose in life. I worked with someone like this before. She HATED me, even though I did nothing to this woman. SHe hated my success. I recently learned that she often goes to my website and b*tches about me to her co-workers. Why? Does she seriously have nothing else to do with her time but sit around and dislike me?

All we can do is decide that we're not going to bother with those types of people. Because if we let them get to us, they will achieve their goal of discouraging us, making us feel as negative as they do.

Life is too short to let those people into our lives. So, Mary, focus on the good reviews. There are far more of those out there!!!

Weez :)

Rachel said...

Hi Mary - you made me laugh with the "pooped on my lawn" line. It's really true about the negative energy people, and truly, it's their loss, because I think constructive criticism can be useful. Someone posted on my Amazon plog about how I should just stop writing short stories cause she hates them, which is fine, but don't be writing that on MY blog. Plus, can't you just not read them?

I think that there's an inverse relationship between the negative energy people put into hating on other people's work and their own output. There is also an art to saying something intelligent about work you don't like, which I've had to do in book reviews, but overall, I think we all get so much more out of being positive and striving to do better. And I'm sure, at least for me, no negative review could be worse than the dark voices I hear in my head all the time telling me how much my work sucks. But I think we go through that and come out of it all the stronger. So more power to you, and I personally look forward to reading the novella (and many more novels from you)!

Erica Orloff said...

OMG, but that is so true. There is one blogger who read Diary of a Blues Goddess like three years ago and wrote this vicious review. I had just gotten in US Weekly, so I consoled myself with that--but at the same time, the blogger's review was so personal. I should "do the world a favor" and stop writing. Something like that. It was so . . . MEAN. Not "this book wasn't my cup of tea"--but that very personal attack like I purposely was making her life hell by writing. Then I moved along through her blog and discovered . . . a ha! She is a writer trying to break into the chick lit genre. So now the jealousy made sense.

But that's not the story. THREE YEARS later, I am on Amazon and I notice that verbatim, she has put her review under Diary of a Blues Goddess--her three-year-old review. Like . . . do you have nothing better to do than hunt down sites with the book to keep re-posting it YEARS later?

So Mary . . . take it as some people are jealous, some are just negative . . . and that you will never "get" their thinking because you know what? It bears no resemblance to your own thinking. It's like sickness.


Unknown said...

Weez, your poop is too precious to waste on her!

Rachel, my dark muses are such bitches. But then again, they keep me honest.

Erica, someone hated Diary of a Blues Goddess? Was she smokin' crack?!? That's one of my all-time favorites books.

But like you said, she was a jealous writer who if she got published, will get a taste of her own poop!

lainey bancroft said...

(((Mary))) I don't think anyone can help but feel the sting when offered negative feedback, but its important to remember this is ONE persons OPINION, not a factual statement of the work itself. If its any consolation to you, I'm as inclined to pick up a book that received a negative review as a positive one. I suppose I'm perverse, but I like to find a way to defeat the negativity. Negativity is so draining and I think the people who make a career out of it are desperately unhappy people who wish to make others that way too. Misery does love company.
BTW, Checked out fanlit, registered, discovered I can read and vote but...they won't let me participate in the actual writing, wrong side of the border dontcha know :-(. But I still plan to follow and watch all the talent emerge! ;0)
I'll look for your book and prove that reviewer wrong. Wrong dammit!

Desiree said...

I'll take a load off on her lawn too. She must be one stupid individual. I love your books. They're fun. What the heck does she want? I can go on, but I don't wanna offend anyone on here.

I LOVE Rachel Ray. She's dorky, but cool. I love her even if she's unrealistic with the 40 dollars a day and stuff. Whatev.

Peace. Love.

Unknown said...

Lainey - Thanks so much for your support! I'm the same way about reading books with negative reviews, especially those that have all positives and one rotten egg. Usually they're great.

Desiree - You're too kind. I'm really happy that you like my work. Not that I'm soliciting praise, but it never gets old hearing that my stuff is entertaining.


Nana will put their heads in the toy box and let little Dude open and close the lid on their heads!!!

Michele said...

I LOVE Marti's suggestion!

Hugs, Mary. Never doubt your talent because all of here know you're an amazing writer. And I admire your strength and ability to laugh it off and move on...OK, it might be evil laughter, but that still counts. ;-)

We're with you, Mary!

Dana Diamond said...

"as if I’d gone to her house and pooped on her lawn"


Marti, the toybox idea cracked me up too.

I got nothin', but thanks for the laughs.

:) d