It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
-Henry David Thoreau
Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.
Since I’m on a roll with the whole linking other people’s clever posts instead of just coming up with my own content, I’m going to hit you guys with a double.
For those of you who’ve been in the m/m community more than a year, you’ve probably seen all of this. I’m not really interested in rehashing any drama, but a few important blog posts came out of it, and I think they should be re-read with a wider context in mind.
I may not read or enjoy some kinds of problematic content, but I’ll defend forever the right of people to read and write it. However, when that content’s existence hurts people, it’s indefensible. When it adds to an overall problem that’s causing strife and death in our world, it’s indefensible.
So basically, don’t kinkshame. Good people can read things you don’t like. And don’t support the normalization of hatred, because that’s not a kink, and it’s never acceptable.
So there’s been a lot of talk recently about reviewing books, the behavior of authors in relation to reviews, and the like. I was thinking about writing a long post about the reviewer/author relationship, and how we’re essentially co-workers, only reviewers don’t get paid to show up.
But then I was hanging out on Twitter, and Annie from From Top to Bottom Reviews referenced a Santino Hassel post about the subject, and after reading it, I feel I can safely say that he’s got me covered.
If you’ve ever wondered about how to react to a situation with a reviewer or an author, I think this is pretty much it. I feel totally unnecessary in its presence.
A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
When I was sixteen, I prided myself on finishing every single book I picked up to read. It didn’t matter how bad it was, or how much I hated it, if I started it, I was going to finish it. That melodramatic Victor Hugo epic Les Miserables? Every. Last. Word.
In my twenties, a few started slipping through the cracks. I blame it on schoolbooks. There was no way I was going to read the C++ manual front to back. I might have died of boredom.
My twenties saw me finally abandon some fiction, too. The first I remember was Twilight. I tried, you guys, I really did. I got all the way to the last one. Then there was that whole pedophilia thing, and I just… couldn’t. I ran screaming in the opposite direction and never finished the book. That particular hardcover is the single book in my house that gets no respect whatsoever. Which is to say that we use it as a doorstop.
In my thirties, there have been things like the abusive BDSM series that everyone knows. I think that one was my breaking point.
That was when I realized that when I finished a bad book, I didn’t feel accomplished. I felt annoyed, or ripped-off, or outright angry. And it wasn’t like I didn’t see it coming. I can usually tell in the first few chapters whether a book is going to work for me or not. So why am I wasting my precious reading time on things I hate? So that I can be angry and go leave nasty reviews on the work of authors who spent time and effort on those works I hate? I hope not. That’s not the me I want to be.
tl;dr: I have embraced the DNF. Life’s too short for bad fiction. If I decide at any point that the book is going to get a bad review from me, I’m putting it down.
Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.
There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live.