“How should an author respond? Don’t”

Yesterday’s post addressed the matter of a “Twitter critic” having churlishly – uh, adverb warning! – assailed author Barbara Avon and her reply to that “criticism.” It all went on and on after that. Apparently trying to draw a line under it, she has since offered this:

Having seen it unfold over the last two days, based on what I’ve learned over the years I wanted just to offer Ms. Avon some minor support. I did so in three quick tweets. Here they are as one paragraph:

I’m glad I found you as a result of your reply to that “critic.” Twitter suggested I follow you. But I soooooo wish I could have stopped you from replying at all. A writer should never publicly hit back like that. You should have just ignored her and blocked her at her stupid comment about your husband and let your followers pummel her – as they have. You have upset yourself. You will encounter this sort of thing increasingly because your profile is going up. Even JK Rowling has those who ridicule her work. My late uncle was a published crime novelist in the 1980s and ‘90s and had his share of “critics” too. Don’t tweet about it again. Don’t even reply to my tweets here. Don’t dwell on this nonsense. Forget it and move on. All the best. 😊

I believe an author should NEVER publicly question a poor review or get involved in an online spat about “the quality” of the writing – and especially not with some unknown person. An ugly or a disparaging tweet or two by someone who doesn’t like something you wrote is quickly submerged and forgotten. Trying to reply accomplishes nothing more than to keep “the issue” front and center… and it may to onlookers even make you appear insecure about yourself and about your writing.

[My desk over in the Catskills where I wrote most of my first two novels. (A little bit of then Christmas “cheer” is also visible.) Photo by me, 2015.]

Indeed even one of my three innocuous tweets there attracted a trolling reply from someone still digging at Ms. Avon for her reaction(s). (My tweets were @s directed only to her, so the individual had clearly been monitoring replies there.) Getting stressed out by potshots about what you write and/or how is just not worth it. Worse, trying to respond only amplifies the initial “critique(s),” blows it up out of proportion, and therefore hands that, uh, “critic” a megaphone.

Have a good day, where you are. 🙂