I am not a fighter.Â That about says it all.Â Conflict freaks me out.Â I’m the kid who always had a white flag in her pocket, ready to wave in case the bullies came too close.Â I know my own personality, and I know that I’m not capable, emotionally or otherwise, of dealing with the continuing comments that are still in playÂ over at Dear Author.Â (And Kyle, thank you for trying to stick up for me.Â You tried your best, but I think you saw what it’s like.)Â I am sad that the comments seem to come from the romance community, a community that nurtured my beginnings as a writer, and a genre that I’ve continued to stand up for, even though I no longer write it.Â
I do regret and apologize forÂ the tongue-in-cheek post about hyper-sensitive authorsÂ that started this off.Â I wish I couldÂ retract it, although I don’t feel it’s right to take it downÂ now because, as they say on Galaxy Quest, it’s an “historical document.”Â I have made changes to it.Â I hope it will better explain myÂ intent.Â Was it bad humor? Certainly.Â Worthy of hounding and animosity?Â I guess a lot of people think so.
Now the latest meme I’m hearingÂ from Dear Author is thatÂ my blog is offensive and demeaning toward readers:
(Added 4/21 for clarification)
â€œDear Ms. Gerritsen:
I read your blog today. I am a bit disappointed that you would blame my blog post and the commenters for ending your own blogging.
First, you know that the petition had nothing to do with you and your writing and everything to do with Amazonâ€™s treatment of a reader.
Second, even if you chose to blog honestly, a blog is not a personal journal. It is a statement for any one out in the public to read, consume and comment on. If you did not want public feedback, why not have a diary that is kept at home for no one else to read? Or why not lock your posts so that only a select few are privy to your thoughts? To blame someone else for the consequences of your own actions seems very irresponsible.
Youâ€™ve stated very offensive and demeaning things towards readers in the past, in essence implying that they are smart enough to spend money on your books but not smart enough to provide any reasoned critique.
I actually read your blog quite a bit, but in regards to the DAM thing, I didnâ€™t see any humor in it, particularly when you ended with the statement that DAMâ€™s major foolishness was in getting caught. That was not her major foolishness and I think we both know it. Her major foolishness was in obtaining this readers personal information and making threats toward her. At best, this is unethical and at worst, it is felonious.
Iâ€™m not going to rehash this on the internet and whip it anyone into a frenzy, but I really dislike authors blaming my site for negative responses to their own words. If you choose to step back from blogging, you do so because it is your choice and yours alone.
If this is how myÂ posts have struck people, then I have failed in my intent and have no business blogging.Â Jane is right; I should take responsibility for my own words.Â I am.Â Which is why I think it’s best to shut down.Â As I wrote in a post over at Dear Author,Â if someone considers myÂ posts demeaning and offensive, I don’t think it’s necessarily they’re fault; it’s mine.Â Â I believe that the burden belongs on the shoulders of the communicator; if we don’t get our messages across, then we’ve failed at our mission.Â And it’s certainly obvious that I’ve not done a very good job ofÂ making myself understood, because “offensive and demeaning” was never my intent.Â
I will therefore leave up the archives of my blogposts so that readers can judge for themselves whether I’m demeaning and offensive. Â No posts will be taken down.Â Some, however, may have editorial changes in the form of additional explanatory notes. (as I’m now adding to this one as I type.)
Thank you all for listening to me through the years.Â For putting up with my bad moods and my rants.Â I’ve tried to be an observer and an explainer and an analyzer.Â And yes, at times, I’ve been a whiner.Â I’ve tried to give you the writer’s point of view — and that’s been the point of the blog, to alwaysÂ stick up for the writer.Â Â Because really, there are so few of us, and who else is going to?
The wonderful Paul Guyot wrote meÂ with advice that ending one’s blog is the first step toward freedom.Â I take this step sadly, but I think he’s absolutely right.