Let this be a lesson in courtesy, for writers and everyone else in the world. Some people might like what you do, they might like who you are, or they might agree with your political leanings or your choice of rap star versus Justin Bieber. They might prefer the way their mother cooks roast beef and not Arby's, they may feel loyalty to American cars over foreign brands, or they may want to live in the woods with the bears instead of in the city. As my friends know, I'd rather live on the West Coast than in Michigan. This is not to dis my mitten; it's just my preference.
Artists are entitled (sometimes compelled) to create. Once you put it out there, it's there for the world to see. It had better be perfect (which is why I haven't e-pubbed anything – yet). Once released, you lose your right to be indignant over subsequent comments.
Authors should keep in mind these things when it comes to critique and reviews:
1. It's not personal. Unless your mother or your ex-husband is the reviewer and you can prove it's personal, let it go.
2. Grow a thick skin, because if you're on the Internet, you're going to need it. Not everyone loves you, not online, not in real life.
3. Keep your mouth shut. Someone likes your work. And even if no one on the planet likes your work, YOU do. If you don't have faith in your work, you might as well go back to your day job.
4. If you find a burning urge to debate your opinion, do so privately. Public displays are great for us rubber-neckers, but not so good for you.
5. For God's sake, DO NOT use the *F* word in comment threads, particularly if you're a writer. A sprinkling here and there in a manuscript is one thing, but a writer should be able to come up with a more genteel metaphor. As in the real world, overuse of the word does not make you look cool – it makes you look crass, uneducated, and rough.
Finally, consider your critique to be an aid to making the next piece better. Big Al brought up some very valid points regarding grammar, spelling, and purple prose that would likely help Ms. Howlett with her next project.
If she listens.