This week I’m talking about writer Jacqueline Howett’s recent Internet meltdown over a less than stellar review of her self-published novel “The Greek Seaman”. If you’re a writer, you’re probably already across the subject. You might have shared a link to the original blog post on Facebook (I did). You probably had a bit of a chuckle over it. Perhaps you’ve formed strong opinions on the behaviour of all involved. Perhaps you have expressed those opinions in one forum or another, or you’ve been moved to write your own blog post.
If you’re not a writer, chances are you are right now going, “Huh?”
To summarise, I suggest that you read Kirstyn McDermott’s blog post on the subject. It’s the fairest and most succinct commentary I’ve seen this week on the whole affair.
A lot of the advice Ms Howett received, and which she chose not to heed, went along these lines: Stop, for the love of God, stop typing, ‘cos you’re just digging a bigger hole for yourself, and don’t you know that once it’s on the Internet, it’s out there FOREVER?!? Nobody will EVER forget it, and you’ll be a pariah. FOREVER!!!
I’ve got a few words for those people. William Hung, or as he is often called on the ‘Net, “William Chung or whatever his name is”. The Star Wars kid. Clare Werbeloff. Anybody remember them? Think you’d recognise them if you saw them on the street? Well, you might now that I’ve posted their pictures here, but give it a week and you’ll probably have forgotten them again. ‘They’re yesterday’s news. About the only Holy Internet Fool I can think of who still gets regular mention years down the track is Leroy Jenkins – but those World of Warcraft geeks are a breed apart (I should know, I live with two of them).
So take heart, Jacqueline – keep your head well down below that parapet, wait out the siege, and in less time than you might think, you’ll have your life back.