Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, thinking and watching. And I’ve grown tired of certain attitudes, I like to call the bitch effect. That and I’ve been trying to not melt from the never ending Texas heat.
Now, I’ve met a handful of famous people in my life. Some have been really cool and nice (Sean Lennon) and others have not been (lead singer of band I’ve loved for 10 years who wouldn’t even give me the time of day).
And as I am more immersed in the writing world (on twitter and at conferences), I’ve noticed some rather piss poor personalities. Like the aforementioned famous people, writers personalities can also vary just as much.
Let’s get some things straight. If you are rude, uppity, and unfriendly, I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. Whew that felt good. And the more times you say that, the more it gets annoying. At that point, you’re no better than a door to door salesman trying to sell me some knives. I won’t buy your book. I need to like a writer just like I need to like an actor to want to see their movie. Why on earth would I support your career if you annoy the hell out of me? Now I’m not the type of writer that’s going to endure your bitchiness just because your famous. I’m not going to kiss your ass in hopes that some of your good fortune will rub off on me. Your bitchiness has a different effect on me. It makes me want to avoid you like I avoid Bieber fever.
On the reverse side, if you are awesome and nice, I’ll be more inclined to buy your stuff. Let me just say the majority of writer’s I’ve come into contact fall into the awesome side. They are funny, open, and ready to give out advice to the struggling masses.
But there are just a few that make my skin crawl.
Now, let’s dive further in the bitch effect. The following acts of bitchiness/annoying actions will cause me to unfriend you on twitter, stop following your blog, and guarantee I will never read your book. If you think you are maybe suffering from the Bitch Effect, do not seek medical help. You may wish to contact someone who can be completely honest with you on whether or not you are a complete twat online or in person.
1) Your professional photo doesn’t look anything like you.
There’s an old internet dating joke about showing up for a blind date and the person that shows up looks nothing like their dating profile picture. You know, grandpa shows up but his profile picture looked like Fabio. The same goes with your professional photo. When people look at your photo, they naturally assume you should look like your photo. However, if your photo makes you look 20 something and you show up looking like a sixty year old leather suitcase, that’s not a good first impression. Update your photo every once in a while. Take a good hard look at your photo. Hold it up to a mirror, still looks something similar to you? If not, maybe take a new photo. Don’t be a creepy grandpa using his picture from 1965.
2) Don’t be fake nice.
You know the kind. “Oh your whole platform is a piece of shit, but you’re so sweet, bless your heart.” Don’t insult people publicly, then with your next breath tell them how wonderful they are. Constructive criticism is a great tool to help people grow their talents. Bitchiness hurts feelings and stifles creativity. I don’t care how successful you are, LEARN THE DIFFERENCE. It’s like you are trying to hide your bitchiness by sprinkling sweet and low on top of it. You aren’t fooling anyone. I can smell your shit from miles away.
3) Your online persona and your real life persona are two different creatures.
I’ve been chatting on the internet since the mid 90’s. I know some people use the internet as a form of escapism. People do things online they’d never do in person. I’ve been there, I’ve been through those growing pains. But that’s what they should be, growing pains. It’s one thing when you’re 17, it’s another thing when you’re 45. I’m pretty much the same in person as I am online, what you see is what you get. I may be a bit shy at first, but I’ll come around and be my quirky, bubbly self. What is annoying is when someone is loud, brash, arrogant online, and then when you meet them in person and they are these little wallflowers. If you are going to use your real name on twitter, facebook, etc. then you should be your real self. Eventually you will have to meet someone face to face. People expect you to be similar to your online persona. Again, don’t be a creepy grandpa.
4) CAPS MEANS YOU ARE YELLING AT ME!
Ok so caps are good in some instances. I’ve been guilty of this from time to time. (heck i’ve done it in this post!) I get it. But overuse of caps leaves me tired. Do you want to talk to a person who is constantly screaming at you? How about screaming at you with a megaphone? No you don’t. It’s more annoying than bitchy. Try to limit your caps, use them on special occasions. Don’t overwork me. Otherwise, i’ll start to ignore your tweets, and then just unfriend you.
5) Twitter isn’t a place to hawk your book 24/7.
Look, I know we all have an agenda when it comes to twitter. Whether it’s networking, selling books, getting noticed, etc. But if I look at your profile, and all I see are tweets about your book, then you are either a)a robot author sent from the future to educate us earthlings b)have no idea what twitter is for or c)don’t care enough to interact with twitter and were forced to get one. If your answer was C, then there’s no point in getting a twitter at all. Twitter is a great place to meet new people, interact with like minded people etc. It’s ok to hawk your book every now and then, but talk about other things. What are your interests? Oh you like 1950’s romance comics too? Oh well let me check out your book. Let the world know little bit about you and your world. We might just buy your book if you’re cool.
Loud brash, trying to hard bloggers. I hate when people try to be edgy for edgy’s sake. Being edgy is like typing all in caps, it’s tiring. Are you edgy when you order in a restaurant? Are you edgy when you’re wiping your ass? Are you edgy when you’re pouring milk into your cereal? if you answered yes to these, you might need to help. The no.1 reason I read a person’s blog is that I want to know them. I want to connect with someone new. Everyone these days does edgy, I want to get to know you. Edgy is 40 something year old Marilyn Manson still trying to act like 20 something year old Marilyn Manson. At some point it just looks sad. Don’t be sad, be you.
Ahh I feel better now. As if a huge weight has been lifted of my internet shoulders. What is your bitch effect? What do people do online that annoy you?