Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dearly beloved

I'm sorry I took my blog offline yesterday. I came back from vacation to find my inbox filled with hate mail from people who had read my stalker post on Gawker (Gawker linked to me yesterday afternoon and drove a crazy number of readers here) and apparently took very personal offense.

I was really shocked and saddened by this response. I know that by putting up any kind of content online I'm subjecting my writing to the opinion of the world, and I do honestly believe that most of these reactions were unfair and had missed the point of my post, but it was never my hope to inspire violent negative feelings in any of my readers, and I certainly don't want anyone who hates me on such a personal level plumbing my backlist here.

I started this blog to help people and make them happy. I've met lots of wonderful people and, I think, made a lot of friends. I do not want to be the kind of blogger that makes enemies, even inadvertently. I hope that those of you who know me well (or even at all) did not take my stalker post, or any other post I have ever made, to be a personal affront to your dignity. I'm also sad that apparently it's a major crime to admit to not liking James Joyce. Which actually strikes me as a little funny.

I've put the blog back up for now, since traffic has dropped a lot lower than it was yesterday, and I've gone through and deleted posts I think might upset people or solicit further negative attention. I still feel really bad about this and I can't promise I'm not going to have to take down more or all if the hate mail keeps coming.

To my many internet friends, again, I'm really sorry to do this. I hope things will settle down shortly.

48 comments:

Merry Monteleone said...

So sorry, moonie - I really don't know what anyone even found offensive about that post. I think it's far more offensive to show up at a publisher's door unannounced with a manuscript in your hand.

Maybe you should remove your email information. If they're adament about sniping, they'll have to do it in comments and then you can just delete the ones that are offensive.

Sorry times two - I don't know what it is about internet interaction that makes people so ill tempered.

Sherri said...

I had ONE incident with ONE person's hate mail, and it shook me to the core. I can't imagine having a bunch of people hating on me. Please, please don't take those poopy-pants people's nastiness as an indication that you are less than a lovely blogger. Did that make sense?

I saw nothing at all offensive about your stalker post, or any other post. Funny, irreverent at times, but never offensive.

Glad you're back. :)

Gina Black said...

I guess I missed all the excitement. I'm a new reader and I enjoy your blog very much. I hope you keep it going!

Sarahlynn said...

I bet the silliness dies down in a few days. Here's hoping.

I had a brief period of panic once, when I was quoted in the Sunday New York Times with my name in ALL CAPS talking about my pro-choice philosophies and activities . . . at the same time that a new local real estate watch company was publishing people's addresses (retrieved from county tax records).

The result was that, for a few days, the first result when you Googled my name (even above my own website) was my home address and the name of my daughter's school.

This made for some tense moments at my house.

McKoala said...

Hey Moonrat, I haven't looked in in a while, but I'm sorry to hear that you've gone through all this drama. I hope things settle down fast.

Kaz Augustin said...

You're joking. You got hate mail regarding your "stalker" post? I had to read it again, just to be sure that that was the one you got dissed on. I related the story to DH at the time and we were both very sympathetic. Sorry to hear you got dumped on.

green_knight said...

Hey, it's great to see you back. I rarely say anything here, but I've been reading for some time, and I was rather disappointed to find that you had locked your blog, although I can understand why.

Bernita said...

I do not understand why you should get hate mail over that post or any other.

Heather Wardell said...

I wondered where the blog went and was sad to see it gone, but now I'm livid. On what grounds did you get hate mail??? That's ridiculous - your post was calm and rational and it made sense... oh. I've answered my own question about why you got the hate mail. =(

I agree with merry's comment about removing the email information. That will at least slow the tide of insanity. (Nothing can stop that tide, apparently, but slowing it is at least something.)

Yours is one of my favourite blogs and I'm sorry you're going through this.

Heather

Shameless said...

Go strong, Moon. We're behind you. You haven't nothing to worry about re your posts. We love your insights. And Joyce? The French say: Everyone sees midday from their own door! :-)

Shameless said...

Oops, haven't and nothing don't go together. Dah. Slip of the fingers. Have nothing, sounds better! :-)

Lisa said...

Unbelievable! Why is it that every published writer thinks that every editor and agent is heartless, and that any rebuff they make is a personal offense? I was looking forward to being able to read your blog once you got back on the 28th, and was so disappointed that it was down--I assumed you enjoyed not having to blog so much that you'd decided to stop, and went through a couple days of mourning about it. Glad you're back...Just know that for every idiot who wrote hatemail, there are a hundred others who love you.

Conduit said...

The world is full of sad and bitter people, and a disproportionate number of them have Internet access. I read those comments on the Gawker post, and I've read others in the past. There are some terribly snide and arrogant posters there. It requires having your head very firmly inserted in your rectum to take offence at good advice.

And on the subject of James Joyce - my best friend is a Doctor of Anglo-Irish Literature and the only Joyce he ever enjoyed reading was the collection of dirty letters to Nora Barnacle (Google that - they're pretty toe-curling). The very concept of subjectivity in literary taste seems to be beyond some people.

cyn said...

wow, moonie. you aren't famous until you're linked on a major gossip site and get hate mail!!! /jumps up and down
it's so gossip girl! =D

congrats! seriously, tho, this is big time! =) but still sucky you got hate mail. truly tho, it means you've made it online. haha!

there was nothing about your post that was offensive. other than the stalker. he was offensive. and i saw comments on gawker that supported what you posted.

please don't let this keep you from blogging. we got your back, MR!!

Colorado Writer said...

Sorry to hear this. It's your blog. You can say what you want.

meg said...

I used to work as an assistant at a literary agency in the Midwest almost 20 years ago, and we got the my-book-will-change-the-world crazies there, too. And now I'm in academic publishing, which is spared (mostly) the unsolicited crazies but is TEEMING with the socially-challenged my-theory-will-change-the-world loonies. I loved your post yesterday & will now be a faithful reader of your blog. So sorry you got flamed yesterday -- you truly didn't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

When faced with the fact that I might not be able to read your new and older posts again, I panicked a bit. I suspected it had to do with the stalker post and I had to come to terms with the fact that hopefully that your peace of mind was more important than posting (not that I wanted you faced with such a ridiculous and frustrating decision). But that's what I hope-- that you do what's best for you. Since coming across your blog right before my agent started sending my novel out in January, I come here a lot for information, hope, and yes-- entertainment. I've learned so much about the publishing process and hope to be able to continue. But I'll be a fan even if you have to make adjustments.

jan said...

I'm so glad you're back up. I had been concerned that you might have stirred up some nutters and was swamping with hate mail. Which is dreadful and unfair. I had only recently discovered you (following a link from editorial anonymous) and you were one of my new favorites so I'm very pleased that you're back.

Caryn said...

Oh, no! I'm so sorry about the problems. And I think your stalker post was great. Please don't let the few and the bitter dictate what you write about. Oh, and I think blogger gives you the ability to a) close comments on particular posts and b) delete comments.

It's impossible to know whom we might offend, and impossible to prevent offending them. Some people love to be angry, and many of them troll the internet, picking on innocent bloggers who are taking time out of their busy schedules to entertain and inform others for free while asking nothing but politeness in return. I have no problem with dissension, but at least phrase it in a respectful manner.

Anyway, I hope it gets better soon.

P.S. I majored in English, got my Master's in English Education, and I can't stand Charles Dickens' writing. To this day, thoughts of A Tale of Two Cities make me shudder. We all have our own opinions on writing. That's why there's so much of it out there!

Julie's Blog said...

I am glad to see that you are back. I was afraid that you were gone forever due to the stalker scare, but now am happy to see you returned.
Be careful out there....

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the hate mail. Count me in as a published writer who (contrary to Lisa's comment: Why is it that every published writer thinks that every editor and agent is heartless, and that any rebuff they make is a personal offense? )does not think editors and agents are heartless. I agree your jobs are hard and lots of wannabes clog up the system with their crappola. That said, the poor-me blogs from editors and agents get old, fast, and here are a couple reasons why:
1. Everybody's job is hard.
2. The ranting posts about lunatics, idiots, and egomaniacs are addressed to the people who do not read blogs looking for advice. They read blogs looking for shortcuts, magic bullets, and secret passwords. Nothing you post, no matter how nicely put or how sarcastically, will incite them to do a better job with their wrting or approach. These people all think they're the exceptions, for one reason or another. If you're going to put time and energy into posting, why not target the audience with whom you can make a difference (and who really will appreciate your advice): the ten percent or so of aspiring or published authors who read blogs in order to improve their craft, have more success, or gain insight into the whole process?

I realize the stalker thing was exceptional, but there really is a condescending tone to many publishing blogs that I think the haters are reacting to. Sorry the backlash spilled over on you.

Amie Stuart said...

I know I mostly lurk but had to say Hugs to you! And FWIW I know lots of writers that your 1 and 2 below apply to!

Aerin said...

I'm mostly a lurker, too (from Precie's blog to yours) but wanted to throw in my virtual support - and offer to mix you a drink....

Precie said...

1) A wry congrats on "hitting the big time" by getting linked from Gawker. ;)

2) I ditto everyone in the comments who's baffled by criticism you'd receive for explaining what's UNACCEPTABLE behavior in publishing. And why, oh WHY, would they send nasty hate mail to someone who is giving wise and apparently much-needed advice from the trenches.

3) I'm very glad you're not letting such negative nellies silence you! Stay strong! And thanks for being here!

Ello said...

Oh you poor thing! I don't get it? Why did they hate it so much? I'm puzzled. But people will find any old reason to become hateful. They are miserable themselves. Glad to see you back on line!

Ello said...

The funny thing is that Gawker themselves was saying how the advice was really good advice - like we all know! And most of the comments agreed. It is just that some silly haters came out to ruin the fun for all.

Meh. But I'm glad you are back.

Cakespy said...

Oh my, I've gotten some outraged mail in my time (who would have thought messing with baked goods would offend people). But--think of it like that shocking art show at the Brooklyn Art Museum a few years ago. There's something to be said for eliciting such a reaction--it means you must be on to something. :-)

Kaytie M. Lee said...

Okay, we live in a truly bizarre society if even CakeSpy is getting flamed.

Flaming. So last millennium.

Glad you're back, but I'm not glad you had to deal with all this after your vacation. :/

Editorial Anonymous said...

The hilarious thing is that at least one commenter (and I wouldn't be surprised if it was quite a bit more) had no experience at all in publishing.

The sad fact is that many people enjoy having an opinion more than figuring out why someone else has a differing one.

Keep your chin up. All the authors you'd want to work with understood your post for the good sense it was. And there are a lot of them. :)

pacatrue said...

Please stay around, moonrat. Though, as another commenter says, your peace of mind is more important than my own enjoyment of the blog.

Anonymity brings out the worst in people unfortunately. There's always a troll around the corner when the city gets big enough. You could be ranting about cake recipes, it appears, and someone will get pissed.

ChristineEldin said...

I heard Ello cracking her knuckles. She sounds fierce.
I have a big ass so I'll sit on anyone who comes near you.

There's a huge part of me that wants you to post the nasty mails so we can all make fun of them. But that would only make it worse.
Still.... maybe you can get a temporary blog and invite us over and we can have a party ripping into them.
;-)

amy said...

I hope you weren't upset by the Gawker tsunami. The vitriol they spew is predictable and therefore boring. It's what they do to everyone at some point.

Jill Myles said...

I'm glad you're back! But I'm sorry you were attacked with hatemail. I know that's not a fun feeling. Rest assured that plenty more people love you than hate you. :) Plenty more!

Chris said...

I LOVED that post! What was wrong with it? It had some great advice to help prevent one from being a stalker. What's wrong with that?

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

Moonie,

Sorry you had to deal with the ignorance of a "few" in an effort to help the masses. You are appreciated here.

Jaye Wells said...

I was so disappointed when I saw it had been taken down. But I'm glad you've rallied. Don't let the bastards get you down.

(Jim &) Brandy Brow said...

It's a crummy feeling to get slammed from those who misunderstand you based on what you post. I've been there in recent months with my blog and it took time to recover. But I did, and so will you.

Your post was right on.

Don't let negative reactions stop you from blogging or doing your thing. The one thing I learned from my experience is that some will love you and some will hate you and you have little control over it. All you can do is press on and do what you're supposed to do to the best of your ability. From what I've read, you've done that. Kudos to you.

Brandy
The Building Brows

Josephine Damian said...

Merry: Good point about the email. If you read my comment in your blog today, you know why I've done the same. Moonie, if you haven't done it already, I suggest you do the same. If any huckleberry friend of the Moonie blog wants to send you an email, let them put their email in a comment for you to get in touch with them if you wish.

Conduit: I totally have to check out those naughty letters :-O

Joyce's and Faulkner's novels are unreadable to most people - including me!

Precie and Ello: I think the reason Moonie got hate mail isn't hate over what she said, but that Gawker wrote about it. I've seen this myself - whenever I get a lot of blog hits/blog attention, I get a lot of resentment - not because of the content of what I wrote but that I got a lot of attention for doing so. Jealousy is a huge factor behind all this hatred, Moonie - it's not what you said, but that you got a lot of attention for it.

Might I also suggest not allowing any anonymous comments? I have stopped allowing them myself.

Precie said...

Just one more thing---What I find particularly illuminating about the situation is that the Gawker commenters who happen to also be publishing professionals AGREED with you. There are some aspiring writers who do crazy-inappropriate things and who have a false sense of entitlement or at the very least are un/misinformed about the way publishing works.

It's just a shame that the people who probably need this advice the most might be the same people who are most offended by it. Sigh.

Charles Gramlich said...

The blog world never ceases to amaze me with weirdness.

intact said...

oh sweets! i've had blog drama before --- though nothing remotely gawker related --- but i feel ya. you've got a lot of support out here, though.

The Anti-Wife said...

Dear Moonie,
I'm so glad you're back. I was worried when I saw the message about the blog going private the other day. Hope everything gets back to normal soon.

Alexandra said...

I had no idea it was the Gawker post that took down your blog--all I thought was "what happened to the blog?" I can't believe you would receive an amount of hate mail over that. I'm glad you're back!



P.S. I don't like James Joyce. My lit teacher wants to burn me at the stake.

Patry Francis said...

Hate mail is an astonishing thing--perhaps something akin to road rage. I'm always surprised that people can become so darkly impassioned over a dissenting opinion. In any case, I'm glad your blog is back up and running.

writtenwyrdd said...

Jeez, I miss checking on your blog for two days and find out you were down and that you came back already.

I'm sorry to hear that people went nuts on you. What the hell is wrong with people? Don't quit blogging, I've become quite fond of your Robert stories and miscellaneous humorous anecotes and karaoke/food/drink commentaries.

Kate said...

Just remember that the hate mail you're getting is from the SAME crazy people who submit slush, call you every day, bug your assistant, show up at your office, blah blah blah. It's just that now they have a way to contact you. Anyone sane would take your (extremely good) advice to heart. I suggest sending form rejection letters to all the hate mailers: "Dear Writer, Thank you for your hate mail submission. Unfortunately, this project doesn’t meet our needs at this time. We wish you the best of luck in placing your hate mail with someone who cares."

Demon Hunter said...

Moonie,
Some people can be such jerks. I was not offended by the post at all. We love you! :*)

R. A. Mare said...

Hey, I linked to you partly *because* you admitted to not liking James Joyce. I consider a virtue, personally. Plus, you're funny. So write on.