Monday, July 16, 2012

Let's Not Be So Negative...

Smashwords interviewed Jonathan Maberry, a NYT Bestselling author. One of his responses, about being positive online, really stuck with me. And I know it's geared to writers and the writing field, but MAN is it applicable in every day life and conversation. Here's a quote from it (I've edited it a bit):

"Negativity does not sell, but a lot of writers seem to use it as a way of getting heard. Sure, you’re heard ... and then ignored. If you want to vent, do it over beers at the next Stoker banquet. We’ll all listen. But don’t put it online.

(He then uses Twilight as an example, where a lot of authors/writers talked online about how stupid and awful it was. Then he said agents and editors pay attention to these sorts of things, that they know that Twilight brought a lot of money into the industry and will avoid you for slamming it and other crappy (but potentially successful) books.)

"So, what do you put out there? Think about a party. If there’s someone who is whining and moaning and someone else who’s getting folks to laugh and loosen up, which way do you drift? If a kid in a playground is constantly whining about the quality of the toys, and another kid has turned a cardboard box into a sideshow funhouse, who’s getting more attention? Who’s going to be remembered in a positive way?

"And, even if you are a naturally cranky, snarky, sour-tempered pain in the butt, for goodness’ sake share that with your therapist or priest. When you go online to promote yourself and therefore you products, try not to actually scare people off your lawn."

I loved this quote. And like I said, I know it's geared to writers and the writing field, but it is definitely applicable to anyone. Every time we post something online, we're "promoting" ourselves. And don't we want people to remember us in a positive instead of negative light?

People who complain and whine all the time about how horrible and hard life is, and how other people who don't deserve success are getting it, tend to be ignored - except by other people who whine and complain a lot. Whereas people who are uplifting, complimentary, and positive are cheered on, then supported when they need support. They put a positive spin on everything, which is so much more attractive than a negative spin. Let's be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation" (1 Tim 4:12), by seeking (and writing/posting) things that are "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy" (13th AofF).

This applies not only to people who are wanting to be traditionally published, but those of us who are indie authors. None of us can afford to lose readers (agents/editors) because of one temper-tantrum article we post.

To read the rest of the interview, including the parts I cut out of the above quote, go here.


  1. He makes a good point. People like positive and upbeat even if they don't realize it.

  2. Great post Andrea.
    P. S. Jonathon Mayberry is the author of Rot and Ruin, a really awesome YA zombie series.

    1. Yup! I'm not huge into zombie stuff, but I've heard a lot about his books! I should read them eventually.

  3. This is a great article. I think there are many points everyone should read. I've posted the link to this article on my Facebook page. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day.

  4. You're right-great post. I thought to really gripe about a recent review myself, but think I reined it back in a bit.

  5. That is spot on advice. True for a writer but equally so for business people as well.