A post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Recently, one of my online friends unfriended me. It happens. The reason for the unfriending was that I commented on one of his posts, a book review (not of my book but of one of the classics) and expressed an opinion that was different from his own. I wasn’t rude; I just think differently. He commented back, saying that I always disagree with him. I didn’t, not really. I liked many of his posts; they were informative and fun. I replied to his comment and apologized. I didn’t want to offend him. I don’t wish to offend anyone. After my apology, he unfriended me.
That little episode stated me thinking. There is lots of noise online about writers reacting explosively to negative reviews of their books. Some writers go to extremes and behave in a totally unforgivable way. And the reviewers everywhere are unhappy about that. I understand. I never comment on anyone’s review of my own novels, even if I disagree with their critiques.
But if reviewers expect writers to be polite and accepting, whenever someone criticizes their writing, shouldn’t they prove their point by example? Shouldn’t they tolerate different opinions in the comments to their own posts and reviews? If they’re allowed to criticize, doesn’t that mean everyone is allowed, too?
The lesson I learned from the entire situation: I won’t express a disagreement with anyone again. If I disagree with their opinion, I’ll stay quiet. I’ll only comment or ‘like’ their posts if I agree. I don’t want anyone to unfriend me again. It makes me feel sad, unwanted. Besides, I really liked his posts in my feed. I’ll miss them.