Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Using Negativity Wisely

06 September 2014

I made a deliberate change in how I blogged this last year.
Instead of avoiding negativity, like I had in the past, I decided to change my policy.
However, I don’t want to be an unrelenting source of misery. There’s enough of that in the world. Also, while I can be a mean person, I am very aware, from having been on the other side of that, that it’s something that really needs to be used carefully.
After reading this post from Tim Grahl about Overcoming Criticism, I thought I’d talk about the transformation I made and why.
So here are my guidelines.

  1. Is it funny and not about a specific person? Like my post about someone using my email address to sign up with Amazon? And yes, while a specific person was named, it’s pretty clear that was company policy. Also, I’ve heard a lot of people say why they didn’t like having double-opt-in on email lists, and, as a continually-frustrated person on this regard, I decided to write a counterpoint.
  2. Is the purpose of the post educational? Like my Norilana posts earlier this year about how Vera Nazarian was receiving royalties for others but not paying them out?
  3. Is the purpose of the post cathartic? Like publishing Moira Greyland’s account of her mother’s abuse. Or my own tale of my experience working at Apple as a mobility-impaired person?

The Kinds of Things I Don’t Say

Last week, I read a novel where I thought the writer phoned it in. I’d never review the book (I think the idea of authors reviewing books is inherently fraught unless it’s a book about writing or at least outside the categories one writes in), nor would I say that to the author in question. Unless directly asked, at which point I’d be as precise as possible, and only to her. Just in case you fear it’s you, I don’t follow this writer on Twitter or Facebook (or anywhere), nor have I read her books before.
I try not to be unnecessarily mean. I don’t like people piling on a mean train.
I also try to use my outrage in ways that I think will make the world a better place. Like, will someone think this through if write this post?

The Result

After about a year of this, my overall readers have doubled—and that’s excluding the posts related to Marion Zimmer Bradley.
I feel like I’m more honestly me when I’m posting.
I’m also less frustrated.
I’ve probably also lost some readers, which would be normal, I think.

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