This week I was visiting the Facebook page of an author I enjoy and saw that their PR person (and friend) had posted an update sharing a little on the health issues the author has had, explaining some of the delays to books being published or written and had some choice words for the people who leave negative comments about how long it takes for books to get done or why the author hasn’t written books they’ve been promising for years.
I know it’s not easy to be disappointed and to wait for things that you’re looking forward to, but no one actually schedules into their life getting sick, divorces, job loss, flat tires or rebellious kids (or any of the other things that pop up into our lives). I also understand the interest in and need for schedules and deadlines, it’s an important way to make sure things in life (including work) keep moving forward. But when you’re more concerned by the work than your own health or the health of someone else, I get worried.
I personally love to read, and of course I’m a little sad when I hear that it’s going to be another 6 months or year until one of my favorite authors is coming out with a new book, not to mention how bad I feel for the author and all they’re going through. But one, I’d rather know the author will write again, than that they’re dead or done writing. Second, there are so many authors out there in every genre to read that to say you’ve only got one author you read and be completely dependent on them for books is pretty silly. Finally, if you’re so worked up over the fact that a fiction book isn’t being published or written yet that you have to leave nasty comments, I would have serious questions about your attitude towards life and about what goes on in your life.
But this is about more than just one author or one book, it’s about how we treat each other. What gives you the right to bash on someone else? It’s one thing to give feedback to someone or a company in a private manner, it’s another to tell the whole world how they’ve failed you and how pissed you are. There are a few situations when that’s appropriate, but that’s not the typical case. There’s also a difference between helping someone move on from a person or situation in their life and being rude and nasty about how stuck they’ve gotten and how stupid you think they’re being. I know it can be a difficult line to find and not cross, especially in this very public world that we live in, but my encouragement to you would be to take a step back before you offer criticism or say what you’re thinking before you think about it.
I encourage you to choose words that will help, encourage and support this week, and look to build up your relationships, not destroy them.