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WARNING: This post is very negative because I was an angry elitist when I wrote it so I fully expect a bunch of haters to come out of the woodwork and say negative things about me, thereby showing what negative, angry elitists they are themselves.
Did the warning above sound kinda circular in its logic when you first read it? Okay, good—it should. If you make your rounds in the freelance blogging community, chances are you’ve seen the words: Elitist, Hater, Negative and Angry come up time and time again on blog posts and in blog comments. They generally come up in two instances:
- One blogger said something that another blogger or reader does not agree with.
- Oh, wait, that’s the only time these words seem to come up. Huh. Interesting.
So what is the real problem here? Is it the fact that everyone in the freelance writing community doesn’t agree with each other all the time like we live in a freakin’ hippie commune or the fact that it's difficult for some people to just stand by their convictions using logic and reason alone and not resort to disparaging labels that make them feel safer?
In my experience, if a blogger thinks that---
- writing for content mills full time is a lousy career choice for a writer,
- working for a residual income by using Associated Content or Hubpages is a fool’s errand,
- print writing is more "legitimate" than web writing,
- the marketing tactics of some content mills are shameful,
- writing for pennies is not sustainable and is unnecessary,
- self-publishing is worthless,
- writing on spec is a huge mistake
—then suddenly they are a negative hater or an angry elitist.
How in the world could someone come to that conclusion? If I absolutely despise the thought of eating ham and you like it—does that make either of us elitists, haters, negative or angry? If I love cats and don’t like dogs and you love dogs and don’t like cats, does that make either of us elitists, haters, negative or angry? Of course not.
And guess what? If a blogger writes a general post that happens to disparage the way you decide to run your career, before you tweet about how negative they are or write a comment or email about how they're such a negative hater who must be angry, you should stop to consider the fact that the post is not about you. It’s about the author and their opinion. You make it about you when you get all weepy and defensive while reading it.
So go forth writers and remember—disagreeing with someone, voicing a negative opinion about a gig or process, and standing up for freelancers in whatever way you see fit does not make you negative, hate-filled, angry or elitist—no matter how often you do it or who agrees with you.
And readers, you don’t have to like any of the things that bloggers “say” to you with their posts—but you should remember that if you take it personally or have a strong emotional reaction to it, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Own your feelings and either move on or do your cause or belief a favor and construct a vehement argument that doesn’t attempt to debase the blogger you disagree with because when you do, you’re the one who is a negative and angry hater.
Oh, and before you read this post and think it was about you, let me tell you that it wasn't. Now, I'm not going to go all Carly Simon on you and never tell you who this post was about--well, actually, I am--because it's not about any one blogger. These words are everywhere. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, was this.