As writers, we often come across people who don’t “get it.” I’ve written poems to the people who don’t understand art.
Writing is an art that isn’t black and white (thankfully). We can interpret a piece in a million different ways. We can use our life experiences to relate to someone’s work.
However, if we’re the author and someone is misunderstanding our work and blaming us, how should we feel?
Is the problem us, them, or neither party?
Recently I wrote a post about “fire safety,” but it was a metaphor. Do I need to say what the metaphor is?
My assumption is that readers can figure it out.
That’s my hope, after all.
My hopes were dashed today when I received some rude tweets from someone who clearly didn’t “get it.”
Here’s how it went down:
Her: Did you really sit in your house while it was on fire?
Me: Hahaha, no, it’s a metaphor.
Her: Oh good cause I thought you were really a dumbass.
Me: Yeah no. It’s quite clearly not about a real fire. It’s an obvious metaphor…
Her: Well it’s clearly not if I had to ask.
Me: Nah, it’s pretty clear. Maybe you just didn’t get the metaphor?
Her: I guess it’s just not that good.
Me: Well then you don’t have to read it. #thanks #ByeFelicia 🙂
For real, that actually went down.
If I had to give some advice to people out there wondering how to critique a writer’s work, here are some helpful tips:
Rule #1: Don’t call the author a dumbass. I know it’s shocking, but calling anyone a dumbass may come off as rude.
Rule #2: Don’t continue to insult the author. You may come off as hostile.
Rule #3: If you don’t understand the author’s intentions, remember that you didn’t have to read or even reach out.
Rule #4: Be prepared for the author to be offended. The author may not even feel inclined to be overly kind to you. Who would be cheerful after someone just called her a dumbass?
My conclusions from this little Twitter exchange?
No matter how long you’ve been writing, no matter how educated in the writing field you are, you will have haters. It’s just life. And like T-Swizzle, it’s better to just shake it off (or write a snarky post about it). Whichever works for you. Using whatever inspiration you can find to motivate your writing is something that will help your writing evolve. So maybe we need haters?