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Dana Reed

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Stand Up To The Viciousness... Update 7/22/07
By Dana Reed   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, July 22, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, January 30, 2007

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Learn to take it or you won't survive the writing life

People often question why I leave negative reviews on my site. Especially since some of them are so vicious that they can no longer be perceived as comments; rather, they're attacks. Some are attacks on me personally; some are attacks on my writing, my intelligence--or what they consider a lack of.

My answer: I leave them there because this is how the world is and I've learned to survive despite negative thoughts about me. Here on Authors' Den, while we're not exactly top of the line celebrities, we are known for our craft of writing. We've put ourselves in the public eye and therefore opened ourselves to all sorts of criticism; most of it positive, some of it negative.

What I didn't understand at the start of my stint here was the level that some of the criticism sank to. I've been accused of being a Communist due to some of my blogs--don't know where that idea came from. I've been accused of being extremely prejudiced against other religions and cultures that weren't basically Christian--again I don't know where that came from and it couldn't be farther from the truth. I've also had my writing criticized by some high level types who pointed out that some of my articles lacked continuity? Okay. Whatever floats your boat.

I've been accused of being thoughtless and oblivious to the suffering of others and a person who ridicules handicapped individuals or people who are physically and mentally challenged. You name it, I've been called it. However, I don't go by the old sticks and stones reply. What I do follow is my own personal theory that people are entitled to their opinions. That's one. Another is that sometimes what you write, no matter how benign, will be seen as a challenge by others. In their temporary state of over the top anger, they'll respond, releasing emotions meant for their husbands, wives, daughters, sons, bosses, in-laws, etc.

A dead giveaway to that sort of behavior is the amount of remarks they'll send after you respond to them. Sooner or later they'll point out that either their anger wasn't meant to be directed towards you or they overreacted. Out of guilt they'll send 1/2 dozen additional remarks and then apologize.

So you see, I take viciousness where it comes from: a bad day at work or family problems or whatever is going on in people's lives at the time. I've learned that by responding heatedly to a vicious remark directed at my writing will leave me in the position of being the one to apologize when I receive a 'behind the scenes' look at the source of their anger.

So stiffen that upper lip and roll with the remarks. Don't ever take them personally.

And please, when you answer one of the critical observations of your work that is beyond nasty, never, ever sink to their level at first. Answer with the following, "I'm not upset that you wrote a criticism of my work as you expect me to be according to certain phrases in your message. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you vented yours and that is your right."

However, mother once told me not to be a punching bag for anyone. Therefore, after two or three attempts at offering a sensible defense of my opinions, and as the responses from my detractors become even angrier, I will do research on the Internet to show where my opinion came from and send it to that angry person. If my opinion came from a newspaper, I state the paper's name and the reporter who wrote the article that influenced my opinion. The last part is not shifting the blame; it's simply showing that my side of the argument came from a learned source.

Today, however, must have been a bad day for me as I launched a personal attack against the complainant the same as he's launched them against me. Not a good thing to do. There was no name calling, just a statement telling him why his opinions were biased.

Stay away from this--personal attacks on your opponent. And remember, if the person becomes too outwardly out of control, you have the option of blocking them. This is the best answer of all. 

Web Site: Dana's Book Den

Reader Reviews for "Stand Up To The Viciousness... Update 7/22/07"

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Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK 1/30/2007
Just Keep On Writing Those Who Have Any Intelligence Will Comment Or Like Me Simply I'll Not Comment,i.e. I Don't Want Hear Den Master On My Back That Somebody Complained About My Comments...

Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 1/30/2007
Good article Dana. I'm sorry too, you have been subjected to such negative feedback. I find your articles and blog refreshing and informative and humorous.

There is a high school mentality threaded throughout AD, and perpetuated by a few, unfortunately, that detracts from serious writers. They usually don't have much staying power in the real world, and it shows in their comments and behavior in all areas of their life.

A writer's purpose is to stimulate thought, not necessarily to have the world agree with what they write. Some never get it.

Keep up the good work.

Reviewed by Malcolm Watts (Reader) 1/30/2007
Sorry to hear you have had a lot of these comments - they seem more like personal attacks. The only time I had a lot of negative feedback was when I posted a blog advocating legalization of Cannabis
(Jail criminals not Pot smokers) and in support of Marc Emery who is a Cannabis activist in Canada arrested for selling seeds through the mails to the U.S.. People need to learn that they can disagree without being disagreeable. I am sensitive to what you are saying because I like to get into the really controversial areas of discussion such as the threat of fundmentalism and the adbusive qualities of religions. All the best Malcolm Watts

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