Unknown Blogger Ages Ten Years After Receiving Negative Comment!

lovehateHow I love getting those emails from WordPress which announce a new comment! Maybe, in time, I will choose not to receive a notification for each and every comment, but for now, they aren’t so much in abundance that they are annoying. In fact, they pretty much make my day, they make my world a little brighter, they are my walk on the beach, my birdsong in morning, my wine after sunset… okay, enough with the mundane metaphors.

So imagine my surprise, nay, utter humiliation, when I received a very negative comment, which critiqued not only my post, but slandered my very character, and hurt me deeply, a cut to the bone.

Doctors Amazed by Premature Aging!

Doctors Amazed by Premature Aging!

In September 2011 I published a post, Writing With Music, about listening to music while writing. There is a particularly haunting piece that I played over and over and it worked so well for me that I thought I’d pass it on to fellow writers, or maybe just alert some people to a great audio experience. It wasn’t a successful post. No one appeared to care much about it. I don’t believe anyone even clicked on the YouTube video provided within the post.

But fifteen months later, I received notification from WordPress that I had a comment on the Writing With Music post. It was from someone named “Anonymous”:

I find it amazingly careless, ignorant and unprofessional for someone
who claims to (and may very well) be an author and reviewer of fiction to not research first, something they’ve chosen to write about, with the intention of presenting it to an audience of their readers.

It diminishes the credibility of the writer and the trust a reader invests in them:

ADAGIO – is an italian musical term that marks the tempo in which a piece of music is to be played as “slow and stately.” It means literally, “at ease.” An antonym would be ALLEGRO, meaning “fast and lively.”

Op. or OPUS – is a composition, piece of work, work of art or creation.

Holy crap. My life is over. I am shutting down this blog. Right now. I’ve been found out. Not only am I careless, I am amazingly careless. And ignorant too? Isn’t it enough that I’m just amazingly careless? So, I picture it this way: Amazingly careless is the Hostess cupcake, ignorant is the chocolate frosting, and since that is never quite enough, unprofessional is that white curly thing on top.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Really?

I “claim to be an author and reviewer of fiction”. Well, sir, I can’t make that claim any longer since I have acted in such a lowly and reprehensible way.

And I’m not sure why I believe this commenter to be a male, it’s just a gut feeling I have. I could be wrong about this. God knows, I’ve been wrong about a shitload of other stuff in my life.

After rereading the post again, though, I found that what Mr. Anonymous most likely had taken it upon himself to object to was the following:

“I’m not sure of the meaning of “Adagio” nor what “Op.” stands for…”

That was the only thing I could find.

What?

Dude. Mr. Anonymous. This is a writing blog. Not a music blog. Why all the blow-it-all-out-of-proportion nastiness on your part here? Couldn’t you have worded it a little nicer? Maybe just implied that I might have my head you-know-where, rather than pointing out for all the WWW to see? A little subtlety would have been most appreciated.

Then I thought: But wait! I have no idea what was going on in Mr. Anonymous’ life when he decided to expose me for the ignorant, music-illiterate that I am.

  • Maybe his Significant Other of n number of years just called him a Music Bigot and walked out on him?
  • Maybe he’s writing a music blog and no one is commenting and/or even reading and he’s getting damn tired of it?
  • Maybe he’s just in a really rotten mood, and he’s annoyed that someone with no music clue would deign to comment on Vaughn Williams?

Any or all of these things could be true. So, I’m giving the benefit of a lot of doubt here and accepting Mr. Anonymous’ critique with the dignity it deserves.

Here’s my response:

You are so right! I am careless, unprofessional and certainly ignorant. As a “maybe” author, these are traits that will affect my career — and ultimately render whatever life I have left — worthless. A broken woman, that’s what I am. Finally found out.

The only argument I have, the only trivial little thing I can conjure up as even a hint of an explanation is this: It’s a writing blog, not a music blog. I was trying to give my readers some ideas about what types of music might inspire them while writing, but unless I can define Adagio, I suppose that information is meaningless.

I may never blog again. But wait! I should blog about this very thing. Look for your comment, blown up out of all proportion in a post January, 2013.

Again, thanks so much for setting me straight. Consider my credibility duly diminished and I’m sure there isn’t a reader out there whose trust I can safely say I still have.

(And, Mr. Anonymous, I don’t mean to be picky here, but “italian” should be capitalized.)

On the other hand, could this be a positive thing? Is the fact that I have received such negativity a sign that I have arrived in the World of Bloggery? Can I compare it to Amazon reviews of Jonathan Franzen novels? He gets as many one-star reviews as five-star! And wow, we know what a successful author he is, so can this be a step up for me, from total obscurity to relative obscurity?

That would be, well, amazingly spectacular.

Love/Hate Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Crying Old Lady Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

21 thoughts on “Unknown Blogger Ages Ten Years After Receiving Negative Comment!

  1. I think it’s safe to say that whoever left that comment has more issues than being steamed over a blog post. I certainly wouldn’t let it bother you. I received a negative comment once, but it was directed at another commenter so I deleted it. They can bad mouth me, but they better not be dissin’ my buddies! 🙂

    • Ah, who knows what the agenda of Mr. Anonymous was. It bothered me for about thirty seconds. I considered deleting it, but had early on decided I wouldn’t delete any comments, unless they were highly objectionable.

  2. Oh dear! I just had to laugh at that comment. Its a blog and its yours and the great thing about that is that you can write it how you want to and if people don’t like, well don’t read it. Yes, sounds like someone was having a bad day. Thanks for sharing! Cherie’

    • Yes, I certainly never considered that my ignorance might inflame a classical enthusiast. I read the comment, was momentarily shocked and then thought, hey, I can do something with this! If he was having a bad day, he might be having a worse one now. But I doubt he’s keeping up with this blog, as I am so amazingly careless.

  3. Lynn, your post this morning struck a cord. (I had better be careful using a musical connotation in case Anonymous is still running amok). Only days ago I was soundly and cruelly roasted by two people on a Goodreads forum. One, never having read my book, suggested that it was people like me who ruined the publishing business and I needed to go back to writing school. There was not a constructive criticism anywhere. I know such people should not bother us but it did, even though another unknown person came to my defense. I feel like dropping out of Goodreads after such a beating.
    Fortunately, there is a great supportive group on Amazon ‘Non Fiction authors’. We posted about cruel reviewers and noted that most of them have a common denominator – they can’t spell.
    Anyway, I just shared your post on FB.
    Pour yourself a drink and forget the ‘know-it-all ba*#*#*!
    PS. Glad you joined Memoirs Group. Leila is a doll…………………June

    • June, I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience on Goodreads. But, if we choose to put our work out there for the public to consume, we must be prepared for some to think we are pretty terrible. I have written about it before, not everyone likes the same stuff. But still, I would never say such unconstructive things, for the sole purpose of hurting an author, and yet there are those who make it a hobby, it would seem. Don’t let it bother you, and take a look at the Amazon reviews of an author who you admire and you will find some who one-stars his or her writing.

  4. Oh, don’t you just love those pompous a***s you post negative comments. I say… ‘get a life!’ But then I’ve had my fair share of negative responses on a certain writing forum, which shall remain unnamed. Let them spout their vile words if it makes them feel slightly more important or better, it doesn’t bothers me.
    Chin up, don’t let the sad muppets get you down. 🙂

    • Nah, I won’t let Mr. Anonymous get me down. I had that initial gut reaction and then I thought I’ll turn this into a funny blog. I’m not sure why some people feel the need to write such horrible things, just to deflate egos I guess, and maybe that is because, their own isn’t in such good shape. Who knows? Better to ignore them and concentrate on those who will offer valid feedback. I mean, Mr. Anonymous could have just been helpful and offered me the information, rather than the rant about how I suck as an (maybe) author/reviewer.

  5. I think you handled that with a lot of grace. I’ve had a few — not too many thankfully — flame wars over some topics, usually science and society that have left me a little singed. But I don’t think anyone’s every gone quite that far!

    • I’m not too sure about grace, but hope I handled it in such a way as to not get too paranoid about one person who thinks I don’t deserve to call myself a writer or reviewer. In your case, I think when you cover topics like science and society there will always be conflict. I better check out your blog posts on those topics! Got a feeling I would probably be in agreement with you!

    • Johanna, I also assumed male but not sure why. I hope the sarcasm was not lost on him. Guess he’d have to be pretty dim to not get that, although he probably never came back to see that I took his comment seriously enough to blog about it. At his expense.

  6. I know the feeling! The first time I got a negative comment I was crushed, felt like a complete fraud . My first Blog (roatanvortex) focused on day to day life on a small Island, off the coast of Honduras. I spelt the name of the local currency wrong: Lempira – correct, Limpira – incorrect. Oh the shame. The next time it happened I had overwhelming support from my readers, they took it more personal than I did! A few years back, in the middle of the night, a 7.3 earthquake shook the crap out of the Island. I wrote about it and said, “Roatan was ‘hit’ by an earthquake.” Apparently, being ‘hit’ by an earthquake is (to the scientific experts on such things, one in particular) impossible. He went on the give a detailed, long winded, volumes of reasons why. He received many: “Mind your own business, you weren’t even on Roatan when the earthquake HIT,” comments. He apologized for using scientific knowledge to override an emotional response.

    At my new Blog I let readers know I am grammar, punctuation, tense, and spelling challenged. Now there are no negative comments, they just agree with me 🙂

    • Some people are sure picky. Hit by a earthquake sounds right to me. Here you are, trying to express what that was like, and someone has to quibble about the exact verbiage. These small errors don’t seem to matter to anyone for the most part, only a few really anal readers. Let them have their perfection. We need to accept their critiques, roll our eyes, and move on. Thanks for sharing your experiece, it helps to know I’m not the only one!

    • That’s good to hear, Peggy. I sure won’t be writing any more posts about music though. Unprofessional person that I am! Not to mention careless and ignorant… but glad you think I’ve arrived in the bloggery world! That means a lot.

    • Hah, yes, turn around is fair play and all that. I will keep writing, but writing about music may be in the past for me. Whew! Those music people are tough! They do not believe in “justifiable ignorance.”

  7. Oh, this one was just marvellous!!! Bet Mr. Anonymous is still puzzled about what just blew up under his ass!! Don’t you just hate those superior, no-sense-of-humor, rude-and-crude people, who just can’t wait to point out, in particularly venomous verbiage, the tiniest slip of the tongue/pen?? You keep up the good work, girl – you just keep getting better every day!

    • Thanks, Sue, but Mr. Anonymous probably only made that one comment and then blew outta town. Little did he know he gave me some good material to use. Are music literates snobs to us lowlife appreciators? Would seem so.

  8. Pingback: Research Results, Featured Blogs, And A Prize | The Write Transition

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