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Last week I talked about a comment made by a presenter at LTUE and how it effected me. It goes deeper. I found myself second-guessing, not just my writing, but my life. Then, this week’s roller coaster added more rude awakenings. I was forced to examine my presence on Facebook.
When I established my account in 2008, I wanted to promote my writing career. It was nice to find old friends from high school and relatives I don’t interact with, very often. As time went on, and my friends list grew, I discovered that many of my old friends had grown up with different points of view. That wasn’t a problem, but when some of them began re-posting political hatred and anarchy, I tried to be the voice of reason.
I’d seen it before and it scared me, so I tried to show the other point of view and I tried to cite the true events in history. What happens to a society when they re-write true events to suit their opinions? But I digress. The point is that the hatred offended my peace of mind. To see my old friends involved made me sad. So I tried to be the voice of reason. Usually, my friends would disagree and we were still friends.
As the years progressed, I tried to ignore the hate, but me, being me . . .
In my campaign to promote reason, I’ve been called many names, even coward. Many people assumed more about me than they will ever know. Most recently, however, the personal attack came from one of my oldest friends. Someone who should know me better. I’m still reeling.
When the character assassination reached a new low, I sat back, trying to examine my words. What did I write that would ignite that kind of anger? The term, anger begets anger, is true. Therefore, I will no longer try.
I’ve blocked political comments and some religious ones. Now I ask, How can we humans survive unless we’re willing to speak kind words to each other? Religion doesn’t excuse Intolerance, nor does the lack of it, excuse ignorance. You see? It’s hard to not feel vindictive.
My heart is heavy, now. My life is in flux, and I need to re-group. (That’s a pile of cliché’s, is it not?) Anyway, it’s time for me to get back to promoting my career.
As writers learning how to promote a career, we all discover the concept of a brand. Basically, our brand is the established parameters of who we are and what we write. Then we promote, using that brand as the product. If we were potato chips, we would spend our time making sure people like those chips and continue to purchase them. It would be counter productive to whisper negatives about the brand.
In one of the rude comments expressed on Facebook the other day, one of my good old friends lambasted my punctuation, saying, “I thought you claim to be some kind of writer”. In the heat of the moment, I had been typing fast and not paying attention to sentences. In trying to set the record straight, I didn’t just tarnish my brand I threw acid.
I hope you will learn from my indiscretion. Be careful with your brand.
Good luck with your writing—See you next week.