20 April 2015

Talk about what you love, don't bitch about what you hate

This is such a simple message that I wish would get through to more people, but then again, it took a stupidly long time for me to really appreciate its wisdom.

Talk about what you love, don't bitch about what you hate.

Following this simple rule makes life so much better in so many ways. Let's say someone posts a link in their stream to a music video I don't like. What is there to be gained by expressing my dislike? All that will happen is I will alienate the person and make myself look like a grade A fuckboy. I don't need to respond at all, or I could say: It's cool you like that. This is what I like. And I can share what I'm into.

Creative efforts, such as writing, thrive on this approach

In the context of writing erotica, for example, let's say that, in a fit of uncontrollable negative emotions, I rage out on my blog or on social media about how I hate bad book covers.

If I say that but provide no examples, how can I bolster my own argument? Without proof, I'm just talking out of my ass. So, now I'm virtually obligated to point out examples of bad erotica covers. Suddenly the whole thing becomes mired in bad vibes. Who wants to read that? Why would anyone want to follow that?

Is there a way to do it without coming off like a douchenozzle? Sure, after much semantic acrobatics, but you know what? It would've been a hell of a lot easier to simply say what I think good book covers should look like. Nobody's searching online for how to make bad book covers, but many authors would appreciate good ideas on what makes for a great book cover. 

Shine the light on the good, let the bad remain in darkness

Furthermore, it's just an opinion. Maybe my taste in book cover art isn't as great as I think it is. Who died and put me in charge of what constitutes a good erotica book cover? Since the most common fallacy we commit is to believe ourselves exceptional and above average and overly competent, perhaps my first obligation is to not fall for these illusions at the start.

The person who gets called out as an example of something bad because I'm bitching may have liked me, but now they feel rejected and scorned. Or at least they had no reason to hate me before, but they sure do, now. All because I wanted to bitch and moan and tear something down instead of building something up. Everybody loses in this case.

If I come out and say I love great book covers and provide examples of those, anyone not included in my example is not going to feel personally insulted, because they are Legion. And those that were included will probably feel good about it. For someone who wants to create better covers for their books, my examples will help them, not drive people away. No one will feel called out in a bad way, but they have positive examples to strive for. Everybody wins. There's no down side.

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