This is one of those posts where half of you reading will disagree with my take on this subject, while the other half might agree, but probably won’t outwardly admit it. It’s a touchy subject to any author trying to gain new readers (and keep current ones) while trying to maintain a “professional” attitude to the masses – it’s trying not to alienate readers.
There are any number of reasons someone may feel like they’re being alienated, especially in this new world we live in where everyone seems to be offended by everything, but I’m going to attempt to tell you why you shouldn’t worry about scaring off or offending your readers (to a point).
Now, when I say scaring off or offending, I’m not talking about blatantly attacking someone or trying to incite a riot. For the purpose of this post, I’ll be using the increasingly sensitive subject of politics and sports and how this whole “kneeling” thing seems to be tearing a line right down the middle of our country. This isn’t meant to start a debate about why you agree or disagree with it, but rather to point out why you shouldn’t be afraid to comment on it – which everyone in the free world seems to be doing.
I have my own views on this topic. As a veteran, I’m not offended in any way whatsoever by what NFL players are doing. I do, however, take exception to how people are choosing to use the Constitution (and free speech) to benefit their own agenda regarding this matter. Like most of you, I’m on Facebook, and surely like most of you, my timeline is bombarded with thousands of opinions, rants, and other ramblings about why one side thinks they’re better than the other.
While it’s hard to not comment on this topic, I often find myself posting humorous anecdotes in an effort to lighten the mood a bit. But recently, I’ve gone away from that and started a more serious campaign of letting people know what I really think. I don’t think I’ve been offensive to anyone, but then again, the term offensive is in the eye of the beholder. I find myself commenting more on people’s posts because I cannot stand the ignorance that is blatantly being flaunted and is meant to incite hate among those who read it.
Now, I ask you, am I wrong for doing this?
Some would argue that no, I’m not wrong for voicing my opinion. There are also those who would say that by doing so, I’m alienating potential readers and fans of my books by making what they perceive to be “offensive” comments. Am I being offensive in my approach, or am I just offensive because I don’t share their same viewpoint? That is the question.
Well, I’m done caring about what other people think is offensive (again…to a point).
As a writer, I pride myself on being able to express myself in an artistic manner, and although I try to do it as eloquently as I can, there are going to be those who take issue with the way I say things. Does this mean I should just stop speaking my mind or that I should agree with everyone, no matter what they say or how they say it? Should I silence myself out of fear that I may lose a few readers when there are much bigger issues in the world than my (wonderfully fantastic and amazing) books? If I do this, then I’m being stifled when it comes to my opinions and views, and isn’t that what this whole kneeling topic is about anyway?
Is it my intention to piss people off with my comments? Okay, well maybe sometimes, but usually it’s just to create a (productive) counterargument. Unfortunately, I don’t think we live in a world where productive arguments are possible anymore, as everyone seems to be on the offensive all the time. So, the dilemma is, do I just stop trying to make my point or do I keep posting regardless if someone is going to be offended by what I have to say?
Maybe it’s both. Maybe it’s neither. But I’m at the point where I’d rather call out someone’s ignorance and their attempts to spew hatred over what I perceive to be a valued reader or fan of my books. If someone chooses not to read my books because we have different viewpoints, then so be it…after all, they’re the ones who are truly missing out on a fantastic read…and that’s the real travesty.
As always, thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!