I hate talking about this subject because it never does anyone any good to talk about it, but I think it’s something that needs to be addressed. There are many people out there that will diminish someone’s words simply because they disagree with the opinion portrayed. I’ve been through it multiple times and have been forced to learn how to deal with these moments. The subjects I’m gearing this toward is politics, race, and religion. Although people are free to express their opinions on these subjects, there are times and places for these conversations. What do I mean you may ask?
I don’t believe in censorship at all. I believe that everyone should speak freely about their opinions without having criticism rammed down their throat and told that they are a “moron, an idiot, or don’t have enough traction to give their two cents”. Well, let me just say, I don’t have a huge fanbase, I have many loyal followers on other platforms, and I really don’t care how anyone reacts to how I feel about these subjects. I’ll have people ask me what my opinion is on these things, and I don’t jump into an in depth conversation about them because we’re going to continuously disagree, and I’ll never be able to reach my writing goal for the day.
There are many people who are passionate about these subjects and that’s what they gear themselves toward because they want the community to be aware of events in the real world. They want people to understand that we are either growing or falling as a nation, which we HAVE to have those kind of people because how else are we going to get our trustworthy information from. With this last election, we had a complete shit show on all platforms where people were blocking, dropping, and cursing each other on their feelings and their beliefs. Its gotten to the point where many of us have lost sales due to others needing to destroy our names and slander us because we have a different opinion. This is why I tell a lot of authors that talking about politics, race, or religion will not grow your campaign as an author. It will more than likely hinder it.
I’m not saying authors can’t discuss these things with each other. I think we should talk about it professionally without calling each other a racist or saying something derogative. There are many people who simply live for the drama and want to start an uproar though. This is where we have to choose our battles wisely.
I know there are many people who threaten authors’ sales by saying they will never buy one of the author’s books. Well, if you never bought it in the first place, you probably were never going to buy it anyways. To use that as a threat because someone has a different opinion is like saying, “I’m going to put you in the corner for misbehavior.” I mean seriously, we’re adults, not children.
Now, if you find yourself in a position where you’re being slammed constantly, which happens so much on social platforms, what do you do? Well, I can tell you what I do. I leave it alone. I’ve had controversies where readers simply disagreed with a few lines in a book, the content in my books, and sometimes my opinions on real life issues. I remember being threatened by a blogger because I discussed a different perspective on an issue that they didn’t necessarily agree on. They wanted to share my post and give me a bad name to their hundreds of thousands of followers. I was a small blog at the time, so I was nervous about the outcome.
The one thing we have to realize as writers is we need to have a thick skin if we’re going to do this. If you’re going to discuss a sensitive topic, you have to be prepared for the backlash that will ensue because of it. If it’s something you truly believe in, write it no matter what and let your feelings be heard. Now, if it’s a subject you’re just trying to get a little attention or traction off of, you may want to rethink your strategy. The reason I say this is because when that negative attention does hit your page, do you let it effect your image or do you slosh through it without hesitation? It’s a hard question to ask yourself especially if you’re not comfortable about voicing your own opinion.
I’m writing this series because these are the experiences I go through on the internet and throughout my campaigns everyday. I don’t sit here and let things eat at me because I don’t have time for it. I want to help other authors grow, and I’ll have people tell me I should shut my mouth because I only have 1k or 2k followers, and I don’t know a single thing about the industry yet. Well, actually everyone’s knowledge is just as important as the person with over 30k+ followers. Some people have an inflated head when it comes to knowledge and they think they know everything there is to know about social media and the industry, but here’s the thing, there will be that one person that may have an idea or experience that will creep out from under the rug one day. If you’re not willing to listen then you’ve already diminished your professionalism.
We can speak freely about all of our ideas, so don’t tear someone else down because you don’t agree with them. Listening can take people a long way in the world, but a lot of us struggle to do that because we’re too stubborn to step outside of the box. I don’t condone hate, but I do accept love and knowledge. It’s really all anyone needs right now.