So Says…

“According to my principles, every master has his true and certain value. Praise and criticism cannot change any of that. Only the work itself praises and criticizes the master, and therefore I leave to everyone his own value.”  ~Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach

 Leaving the secure seclusion of writing for my own pleasure, reading for mere enjoyment and crafting worlds without the thought of an intrusive, omniscient eye, was perhaps the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever done. It wasn’t bravery, but vanity. And yet, somewhere inside this mess of a soul, therein rests a quiet voice that insists that I did it for those few who will love what I create and be blessed by it. That being said, that same small voice has a vicious guard dog who fights like hell whenever anything threatens the vital thread of psyche that’s responsible for my work.

I imagine that authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz have similar devices, which lucky for us who are loyal to them, keeps them writing despite the hostility of an ungrateful public. On one hand, you have to reach a certain level to get the startling, abrasive, nasty sort of criticism that extends past the bounds of your creative work and encroaches on your personal space. Stephanie Meyer has certainly gotten more than her fair share. Yet, it’s appalling that we’ve created such a disgraceful culture of criticism that it has now become a respected art form in its own right. Many critics aren’t capable of creating anything worth more than two grains of salt, so they take bits and pieces of the english language and woefully try to string them together in an effort to sound like an authority.

Where is this coming from? Well, I’m not going to get specific, but I will note that someone attempted to be clever by leaving an uncalled for, juvenile, unfounded remark on the jschancellor.com site. Don’t bother looking, the guest book isn’t there anymore. Am I being a coward for taking it down? No, I’m exercising my right to moderate comments and I couldn’t do that the way that it was currently set-up. I’m not a glutton for punishment and the last time I checked, I’m also a human being with real feelings and serious passion for what I do. Only a hobbyist shrugs off a direct hit like that without so much as a deep breath.

Yes, this is part of the territory. Surely, by now, you know that I’m aware of that. I didn’t go into this blindly or without at the very least expecting it. It will get worse. I’ll see more than a few, well-worded, scathing reviews. I’ll have readers and industry critics alike telling me that I should have kept my day job. I have a middle finger for a reason. No, it’s not professional to react to these things. I’m supposed to be graceful, like the southern lady that I am (I was raised down here, afterall…), but every now and then someone has to ask, “Who the hell coddled you as a child and mistakenly gave you the impression that your opinion matters?”

Who better for the job than me?

I suspect that this fine gentleman lives in his parents’ basement and wouldn’t be able to hear me over the sound of his mother calling him and his friends upstairs for brownies. But, in all seriousness dude, get an education, read a little more, expose yourself to a little more culture, get a job, get a girlfriend (that isn’t inflatable), change your underwear, learn some manners, sell some of that shit on Ebay and buy your own car…do SOMETHING, anything at all, instead of sitting in your greasy, pissburnt rollerball chair and trolling the internet for places to display your left-over teenage angst.

So says my guard dog…

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2 responses

  1. So says my guard dog to yours: ROCK ON!

    I quite agree with you. Critics are amongst some of the cruelest people around. They love to tout their opinions, believe in them, and think that others should bow and scrape at whatever they say…or jump off a cliff. I am one of those jumpers, I guess, as I like to read, watch, listen to whatever I want to regardless of what the critics have said about it. They have ridiculously inflated egos much of the time and need to remember that they, like the rest of us, are human…and that what goes around eventually does return to take a chunk out of your rear end.

    I’m glad you took down the post. It prevents a fight. There are many of us who would side with you in an instant because we also feel these same things. We don’t go into this profession thinking that everyone’s going to love us. In fact, the odds are against us, as you have said time and again. That’s okay with me. Just let me do as I please. And, yeah, I agree with you on one more thing–if someone thinks themselves qualified to critique another in a vicious manner, I’d like to know what sort of deficiencies he’s hiding.

    Nice post.

  2. Wow. The nerve of some people. I would simply ignore any such comments on the mere principle of a baseless source that apparently lacks the ability and comprehension to give criticism in a polite and constructive manner. It reminds of of part of a Kenny Chesney song Big Star where the lyrics say “She doesn’t care anymore that her high school girlfriends cut her down The only thought she entertains is where they are and where she is now” Which to me implies that any criticism of any kind does not hold much water, good or bad, unless it’s coming from someone that is already where you want to be.

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