Stories that Matter

Negativity Will Get You…

How would you finish that sentence?
I was going to write, “Negativity Will Get You Nowhere.” But then I got to thinking. A lot of people get a lot of attention by being negative or partaking in negative activities. Scroll through any newsfeed or watch television for ten minutes. It’s everywhere. In this feel-good generation that has a give-me-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-yesterday mentality, I don’t suppose it is at all surprising that most of our interactions consist of tearing each other down.

As an author, I can tell you, those negative reviews sting. If you don’t like my book, that’s fine. But is it really necessary to be nasty about it? I’m not sure what gives anyone the right to be rude in a public forum. Fortunately, so far at least, I have been spared the bad reviews. But next week, about fifty bloggers are going to be posting their thoughts on Hidden in the Heart. And that’s a little terrifying. As much as I hope and pray most of those reviews will be positive, I know there will be some who just didn’t like the book. We live in a subjective world. It’s bound to happen.

What’s important is how you handle those negative thoughts, whether you are the giver or the receiver.

Since becoming a published author, I’ve scaled back on giving reviews. I’ll rave about a book I love, but if I really didn’t like the book, I won’t leave any comment. I will give endorsements to authors who ask for them, and I love doing that. But I’m a lot more wary when it comes to sharing negative thoughts. I get tripped up over this on Facebook all the time. It’s so easy to be negative, to complain, and sometimes, well, I admit, I just feel better after a good rant. But here’s the thing, ranting opens the door to conversations you might not want to have. I don’t mind when people disagree with me, it happens a lot. But when they do it in a way that I feel is disrespectful or harmful to others who have commented, I shut the thread down and wish I’d never started it. It’s a fine line we walk, being honest and sincere without coming across as judgmental.

So I think negativity can sometimes  be dangerous on a public forum. I also think it can be dangerous if left to fester and taunt in our own mind. Which is why I probably voice more than I should. I just have to share how I’m feeling or it’ll eat me up. Some will relate, some won’t. And some will argue for the sake of it. But I’m not sure I should stop giving my opinion. It is after all, mine to give. Just because I say something someone disagrees with, does that mean I shouldn’t have said it?

I don’t know.

You tell me.

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  1. luggagelady on March 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    My mother loved the cliche: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I agree with you — it’s hard to escape the negative banter in the world, but it is SO empowering to opt out of the fray. Hope you are well. As I’ve already told you, I LOVED your beautiful book!! ????

  2. Cathy West on March 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks so much!

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