There’s A Difference


Of late, I’ve noticed people feel incredibly safe behind their computer-based bubbles, but I often wonder how real people are being. Sometimes, stories don’t add up (You can’t bullshit me, I have common sense.), and other times, it takes about two seconds for someone to get offended by the simplest thing. What is that you may ask? Honesty.

Here are the facts: Not everyone is the world’s greatest writer, try though they might. Not everyone is talented, funny, or smart. However, there is seemingly a niche for everyone. To each their own. Everyone is entitled to be themselves, but please, be authentic.

When I say something, it’s not for shits and giggles, unless I’ve managed to make you laugh (I don’t go out of my way to be funny, but I know when I’m being a goofball. In print, not everyone’s sense of humor translates because you can’t hear the tone they’re saying something in). I come from a place of genuineness, and I think that resonates in my work and my words.

I’m not here as a “blogger”. I am here as an experienced writer and editor who, as of next year, will no longer be editing other people’s work. I am moving on to another creative endeavor, something I should have done ten years ago. I will continue to write, as I have an unfinished series of novels to complete for publishing, but I am tired of the bullshit, the drama, and the never-ending attempt to outdo one another, because no one wants to see you do better than them, no matter what they might say. Instead of people being happy for one another, people will go behind a person’s back and tear them apart, as if we’re all trapped in high school. That is not, and has never been, acceptable to me.

One aspect of my brusque honesty is that people often mistake it for me being “mean” or “having a bad day”. For starters, I tend to reserve meanness for people who deserve it and two, I keep my bad days/moods to myself because that’s rude in my eyes, so understand that if I say something, it is meant to be helpful, not cruel. Why would I take my valuable time to comment and be mean to someone I don’t know personally? That makes no sense. While I realize there are people who would jump on that and do precisely that to as many people as possible, because starting fights with strangers is what keeps their days and nights “interesting”, I have absolutely no need to be less than who I am. If you lack the communication skills to deal with my honesty, I have to wonder how you will handle the inevitable criticism you are bound to receive on your work up the road.

Every writer has been criticized. I am not immune to that, but I have risen above it. I have been told a handful of insulting things over the course of 28 years as a writer, but you know what resonated most with me? All the genuine, positive feedback from absolute strangers who had no vested interest whatsoever in my success. If a person said “Take that out.” or “That’s not funny.” or “What did you mean by that?”, then I answered them. A huge part of writing is being able to properly communicate with your readers. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t just flip people the bird and tell them to have a nice day. If you ask me a question, I will give you an answer. You may or may not like it, but at least it will be genuine. Also, if I have something personal to say to you, I will say it directly to you, I will not embarrass you on a public platform (if you’re the shy type), nor will I be mean for the sake of being mean. That’s not how I roll.

I am not everyone’s cup of tea, nor is everyone my cup of tea. We don’t have to be. I’d rather have mutual respect as opposed to catty bitchiness behind my back, but the fact of the matter is, I cannot control other people’s reactions or behavior. I, however, can control mine.

If you have something to say to me, by all means, say it to me. There’s no need to be fake about it or passive-aggressive (two things I loathe with every breath I take). Try being real.

There is real criticism in this world. It is vindictive, hateful, and mean-spirited; it is meant to dissuade you from your goal(s). And then there is constructive criticism that is meant to help you and make you better. If you don’t know the difference between the two, precisely who is responsible for that? You are. One should roll off of you, you should know in your heart who you are. The other is to be positively absorbed in order to help you grow. If you decide to turn that into something more than what it is, so be it, but it just goes to show the intelligent speaker that you’re immature and not prepared for what’s to come.

And this is one of the reasons I do not want to edit for fledglings any more. If you cannot handle my honesty, which is meant to help and guide, then what the hell do you think you’re going to do when bad reviews pop up on every book web-site from here to eternity? Amazon, Goodreads, and a plethora of other sites will not delete bad reviews. As a reader, I’ve seen a million of them and many times, they have saved me money. Other times, there was one bad review, but 500 reviews explaining why you should read/buy the book in question. Bad reviews are going to happen, but they will not make or break you. Just like constructive criticism will not break you, but it WILL make you better. Take that to mean whatever you like. I speak from experience.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

But for the sake of all that is Holy, know where to put commas and periods in your work. Every time you don’t, an editor bleeds to death. Do you really want that on your conscience?