How To Deal With... People
Oh hey! Umm, didn’t see you there.
*Slowly lowers sword*
Just, ah— ignore that.
Well, at the partial request of one of you fine folks (I kinda ended up taking this in another direction, sorry), I decided to explore the idea of dealing with those scrumptiously wonderful individuals (they are edible, right?) that don't always seem to worship your work.
Or *shudder* really like it for that matter.
I put my caffeine addled mind to it, and after several wheelbarrows of the stuff, and before my heart stopped beating, I came up with a very handy and very practical guide for all you lovelies to use. Remember, there’s many different scenarios in which someone unaware of your true insanity may insult your precious words, so beware.
I must urge you first to ignore that feeling to yell madly and wildly flail your arms about like some wacky-wavy-inflatable-arm-flailing-tubeman (gold star for those of you that got that) and assume an existence of inner-peace. I know that’s generally against our nature (shit, it’s downright impossible), but it’s vital to remain… unsuspected. Gotta think of the bigger picture there my fellow crazies, don't want to spoil it for the rest of us.
Anyway, these tried and true methods work wonders.
Method # 1: Murder
Not what I was planning on leading with…
Simple slip of the tongue, completely understandable, right?
Let’s try that again.
Method # 1: Just Ignore Them
Ah, much better.
See how close they sound? Easy breezy mistake.
(I swear to god, if any of you went ahead and murdered someone, I’m gonna be really pissed.)
Anyway, it sounds paradoxically simple, and in essence I suppose it is. But let me tell you something that you will not want to hear, so keep those canals wide open.
Do people say that?
Although this requires the least amount of physical effort (which is important to us balloons, I know), it’ll be harder than anything you’ve ever done before, which is why I wanted to get it over and done with up front.
*Eyes go distant, pours whiskey*
You’ll find it far harder to swallow your pride then, when staring into the beady little eyes of whomever dare oppose you, as opposed to as you think about it now. Make no mistake, we all have a false confidence when it comes to picturing ourselves in the future.
'Tis true, trust me. (You really shouldn't though.)
When the moment comes, and it comes for every writer, you’ll see two roads stretch before you.
And I hope for your sake you take the one less traveled, because the other one that most writers tend to take, well, let’s just say it’s not pretty.
Useful criticism we can deal with just fine.
Not so much.
Method # 2: Confront Them… Rationally
Now, I can already see all your bloodcurdling smiles from here, but hold off just one minute and take some time to re-read that last word. You know what? Do it a few times.
If nothing else, understand that word. Have it tattooed on your forearm or your child if you must.
For master manipulator of words you may be, you’re going to find it difficult to get around that one.
No, biting people is not rational.
Nor is weaponizing hedgehogs.
Admittedly, this one is probably the most dangerous of the five, so play it by ear. Dangerous in the sense that we all somewhat understand writers have the tendency to ride the outskirts of emotion’s / sanity’s scale, and who knows what’ll happen?
I’ve seen unconscious alcohol-addled zombie-balloon to drug-fuelled homicidal muffin-fiend in 3 seconds flat. And he REALLY did not get the whole no-biting thing.
*Trembles in memory*
It’s strange isn't it?
One moment your cool as a diced cucumber and the next…
There’s a few graves to dig.
Method # 3: Defend Yourself
You all have duelling pistols?
K, this one’s real simple then. Ten steps, blah blah, turn around at 6, shoot, run like hell.
Kidding of course(?)
That question mark is optional, depending on the flintlock laws wherever you are.
And on that note I’d like to take this opportunity to say that Blue Sky Writings does not in anyway indorse the intentional demise of blah blah blah.
Finish that how you will.
Anyway, this method is certainly the most satisfying. Even without the flintlocks.
We are few things in this life, us writers, but wordologists tend to be one of them. So, spread your feathers, take up your war stance, yodel your mating call, or whatever it is our species does again.
And fly, you peacocks!
Sometimes I forget things…
Anyway, my worrying lack of memory aside, use your silver tongues to defend your honour! Tell them why your work deserves more than a moment’s sniff, but do it right. Explain to them the level of effort and time and (literal?) blood you poured into the words they so quickly disregard.
They don’t have to read it, hell they don’t even have to like it, but if you worked hard, and I know a lot of you do, they should damn well respect it.
That just got real, eh?
Failing that though, find a sword.
Yes, just one.
Won’t need two to tango here.
Method # 4: Compromise
Here, let me outline an example of this for ya:
Them: Your book’s shit.
You: Pardon me?
Them: Your book, I bought fifty. For kindling.
You: You don't say?
Them: Sometimes I like to watch it burn.
You: So what you’re saying is that you didn't care for it?
Them: Pretty much.
You: Mhmm, okay, interesting. I see your point. Do you have a preference, my friend?
You: A preference.
Them: For what?
You: *Slow delirious grin*
Reading that over made me realize it wasn't much of a compromise.
You know what, scratch that.
(I’m winging it here folks, I don't even fully understand the word to be honest.)
Compromise looks more like this: Depending on how much they insulted you, agree with something they said. Whether baseless or with some merit, just smile and nod along without baring your teeth too much. They may have no idea what they’re talking about (no one does, really) but acknowledge you heard them speak some gibberish or other before coming back with a mild defence of your own. Mild being the key word of that sentence there.
Reaaalllly cant stress that mild part enough.
Please, don't bite them.
But use the momentum of agreement to swing into a gentle retort about what you’ve done and why it deserves another look.
(I don't know, insert your own joke here, I'm running out of scotch. God help us all.)
It boils down to this though: finding some middle ground you can both stand on without giving into the urge to…
Be a writer.
Method # 5: Smother Them
*Pours a whiskey without losing eye contact*
*Eye contact intensifies*
*Slowly smiles maniacally*
Smother them… with kindness, you twisted humans! With kindness!
No, nope, no ma’am. We’re flying too close to the sun already and do NOT want to get burnt. Jail is no place for us writer folk.
We’re a fragile people.
Anyway, smother them… but only with kindness of a most annoying nature. Kindness so irritating they will also see two roads. One of which leads to something I may or may not have intentionally / unintentionally mentioned above in the beginning. (If you are an officer of the law reading this, I have no idea what I’m talking about.)
I mean smother them with a love so deep, so absolute, they begin to projectile vomit.
Drown them in such a concerning amount of heartfelt benevolence you rightly convince them you’re truly as unhinged as you look.
That’ll stop ‘em, believe-you-me.
Let me give you another quick example:
Them: Your writing’s sh—
You: I LOVE YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH.
And that’ll do, donkey.
Thanks for reading.
Stay classy folks.
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