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Archive for December 21st, 2011

On Being a Negative Force

December 21, 2011

I updated my book log today. Doing that reminded me of a comment I got here last year from someone who was upset about my book log and not too impressed with the rest of my journal, either. It’s the only non-spam comment I’ve ever chosen not to approve. I deleted it only after I tried to e-mail the person who wrote it and found she’d entered a bogus address (and she hadn’t left a URL either). I decided she wasn’t interested in starting a discussion with me and that I wasn’t interested in giving her venting a place in my space here.

Out of curiosity, I went searching today in my e-mail folders and found my response to her along with her original comment in the “approval needed” notification. Score one for e-clutter. The most surprising thing this “Jamie Lee” person said is that she urged me to reconsider being one of those negative forces in blogging. Negative forces in blogging? I didn’t and still don’t see this journal as being a force of any kind in blogging. It was sort of flattering that she seemed to think I had some sort of power and influence.

Her main criticisms seemed to be that I’m too self-focused and that I engage in author bashing in my book log. She used my About Me page as an example of my self-centeredness. Since the whole point of that page is to share information about who I am, I think a preponderance of “I” statements is completely appropriate there. I’m confused about why anyone would expect an online journal to not be focused on the person writing it.

As for author bashing, I don’t think that’s a valid criticism, either. Saying something like “Author X is a no-talent hack” is author bashing. I don’t do that in my book log. Saying “I didn’t like these elements of Author X’s book or this part of book Y didn’t work for me”, which I do do, is simply stating my opinion, in the same way that Jamie Lee saying she doesn’t like the self-centeredness in my writing here is her opinion. Was she Karen-bashing? I don’t think so.

The comment went on and on (it was way longer than the entry she was commenting on), and by the end I wasn’t sure what her main point was. I should only write about books I completely enjoyed? I should give up reading entirely? Authors need their egos stroked by everyone, including online journalers with limited readership who mostly write about subjects other than books? It left me confused. I’m also confused about who this person was. An author who’s too sensitive to deal with readers who don’t like her books? A fan girl of one of the series I’ve fallen out of love with? She was motivated to take the time to read a bunch of my pages and write a very long response, which I guess is a good thing—something I did got a response from her, and that beats writing this just for my own jolliment.


On this date in 2010: With Attribution
2009: Better to Light a Candle
2008: Procrastination
2007: My Most Memorable Day and One Picnicker, All Alone
2006: Four Days in Utah
2005: Winter Count–August
2004: Back When It Was Warm
2003: Not According to Plan
2002: Missing

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