The most hated I’ve ever been over a Huffington Post piece was after I wrote an op-ed blog entry for the HuffPo last summer. My essay was called “Reading Great Writer’s Worst Books,” and people hated me for it. I got emails, a few comments, and a lot of negativity. The general idea was, “Who are you to criticize? What have you done?”
And I hate that mentality for so many reasons. Yes, any book is an accomplishment. Writing, revising, selling, editing, and printing a book is a lot of work, and therefore all authors should be commended. But…
Not all books are equal. And not all books by a single author are equal. Does each author not have a worst book? If I write thirty books in my career, one of them has to be the worst. And if I write thirty books, won’t one of them be pretty bad. Considering chaos theory and statistical probability, isn’t it likely that one of my books will be an amalgam of all my writing weaknesses?
Also, I want readers to criticize. I want them to question, critique, praise, revere, and revile my books. I want them to react. I want my books to evoke emotion. Good or bad. I don’t want a reading crowd full of fearful 1938-in-Germany propaganda readers. I want human reactions to a human endeavor.
To see a better piece written on this topic, check out Ben Leroy’s (Tyrus Books Publisher’s) blog entry for Hey Dead Guy: