You might not have noticed, but the world is shrinking. Along with it, the gap between the almighty, worshipped writer and his/her adoring fans. (Or in my case, the fictional minions in my mind. Quiet, you! I’m writing.)
All joking aside, this is a serious issue on par with intermittent high-speed internet and trichinosis (whatever that is). With big publishers fading and book stores going belly up, more writers are pushing their wares directly to readers and more readers are getting their proverbial milk from the literary teat.
And this shocking epidemic of casual, nay I say creepy, relationships can even flow from writer to reader! How shall we deal with this insidious syndrome in the face of such infectious social media as Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter?[divider]
I propose a list of ineffectual rules on par with, “as long as you leave the door to your room open,” and “only if he loves you,” by which to guide the new reader/writer relationship. Here goes:
1.) Neither party should direct message the other without first having more casual congress via feed or wall. And never query about marital status (unless you find you favorite writer/reader on a dating site, upon which you better hope he/she is single).
2.) Pet names such as, “cuddle bug,” or “hot mama” are off limits.
3.) Start the conversation with questions and comments pertaining to the written word and the creative arts before making requests. (Readers, don’t drop hints about your manuscript. Writers don’t drop hints about your manuscript.)
4.) Just as it is inappropriate to make a phone call from the toilet during a loose bowel movement, it’s also off limits to splash public feeds or threads with incendiary remarks, fan bashing or caustic critique. (Save those for your blog, you big jerk!) And finally…
5.) As my mama used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, then become a writer.” (Ha!) Readers, remember that all writers think they are the most brilliant person alive, and are stupid enough to believe this ad nauseam. (See, I just used latin in a blog post.) Writers, remember that every reader is entitled to their opinion, and while the stupidness of said opinion is debatable, the ownership is not. (And horror of it all, he or she might even be right.)
There you have it, five simple suggestions to guide all of us in the practice of safe reading.[divider]
Sure, it’s a dangerous digital world out there. But look on the bright side, Hot Mama. Buy my new book and I’ll blow your mind with my literary genius.