Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Afraid to Say Anything?

Welcome to Insecure Writers Support Group Day. I hope you are having a great Cinco de Mayo and will enjoy Mother's Day on Sunday. Baseball is in full swing here and that's a great thing!

Now, I'll get right to my topic for this month... These days, we live in a hyper-sensitive world. I'm afraid there might be things in my books that could be taken the wrong way or offend people--even though it's all made up fiction based on flawed characters... I never used to worry about it until recently. Does anyone else feel this way?

I know we can't please everyone. But lately there's an increasing number of people who seem to be looking for things to complain about or nit pick... 
Though I have to say, this problem is not unfamiliar to me as I've been offending people my whole life. I have a sarcastic sense of humor and tend to say things I think are harmless, usually joking, but others might get their feelings hurt. A couple of times, I've just been minding my own business and someone said I was a snob or worse. I never mean to offend people, but I find out later that my words or actions came across the opposite of what I intended.

When I was an innocent, nerdy high schooler, I met a cute guy at a football game. We talked, and I liked him, and he seemed to like me. But he didn't go to our school. He mentioned where he lived and I found his address in the phone book, so I wrote him a letter (YES, I'M THAT OLD!) I meant everything to be funny and cute and cool in a teasing way, trying to sound casual, and I had no idea if he'd even get it.

Well, a few days later, a girl in my class confirmed he got the letter, but he was totally ticked over what I said: something about him being a dropout--which he said he was--and another about being a beach bum--which he also said he was, as we lived in Florida. I thought I was making light of what he'd told me and admired him for the way he was living, but he must've had some insecurities about it that I never dreamed of--he was a cute "bad boy" to me. But this girl berated me for my letter, really let me have it. Maybe she was jealous. I never liked her anyway... Needless to say, nothing more came of it.

When these things have happened over the years, I'm reminded to try to be more aware of others' feelings. Then again, I say: You can't please everyone. Some people just won't like you no matter how nice you try to be. And I believe the majority of people get the jokes and are fine.

Either way, if you ever notice me say something stupid or offensive -- please tell me! And I'm curious if you've ever had a similar experience.



Dark Matter: Artificial

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology


Discover dark matter’s secrets…

From an AI’s true role to bumbling siblings lost in deep space. 

Or dark matter could be sentient, judging if we're worthy of existence. 

Or even transport you to another reality!

Join ten fabulous authors as they explore dark matter: 

Artificial - Stephanie Espinoza Villamor 

Space Folds and Broomsticks - C.D. Gallant-King

Rift – Kim Mannix          The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans

Sentient – Tara Tyler         One to Another – Deniz Bevan

Resident Alien - Charles Kowalski          Nano Pursuit – Olga Godim

Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller          Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert



Amazon     iTunes      Kobo      Barnes & Noble      Goodreads

Published by Dancing Lemur Press

And we're having a PARTY of BLOG VISITS to celebrate!

May 4 – Laura Billings

Interview question


May 4 - Jemi Fraser

Interview question


May 5 - Ellen Jacobson

Interview with Stephanie


May 6 – Mason Canyon

Short guest posts from Charles, CD, and Tara


May 7? - Louise Barbour



May 10 - Nick Wilford

Guest post from CD


May 12 - Cathrina Constantine

Short pitch from all authors

Stop by and let us know what you think.

Have a great MAY!


Rachna Chhabria said...

Writing a letter to a guy I met just once was something I would never dare do, I'm quite shy :)

Carrie-Anne said...

I went the opposite direction as a preteen, teen, and early twentysomething—I gut-loaded in as much over the top, in-your-face controversial for its own sake content as possible to goad my future censors. Most of that stuff didn't even naturally gel with the overall stories and characters, but was only included for shock value.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chalk that guy up to being the over-sensitive type. You'll never please those.
Congratulations to all the Dark Matter authors!

M.J. Fifield said...

My niece, not too long ago, had an assignment in school to handwrite a letter and mail it to someone who was supposed to write one back. She wrote to me, and I was like, "Please just tell me this isn't for history class..." Because I am also that old. :)

Congratulations on the anthology, Tara (and the other authors as well)!!

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I understand where you are coming from. I actually had someone (who wasn't a part of the convo) quote tweet me and try to blast me because I told someone else I could see people getting outraged at my books. I have minority characters and I ain't afraid to kill my darlings or have them be the villain, and I had seen people who stated that any minority characters MUST be given a happy ending. Given some of the Twitter blow-ups I had witnessed, it was unnerving.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats to you and the other authors!

I had a contest judge become offended by the third book in my series because the man managed the money of the house. My husband said don't worry about it, she's probably just a bitter divorcee. LOL

PJ Colando said...

I, too, am 'older' but I never wrote a letter to a high school beau... perhaps I didn't have any because my dad was the principal of my tiny high school in a small town.

But I digress - congrats on your inclusion in the anthology!

Truly I am often shocked-and-awed by readers' comments of my blog and/or books. Some have even provided sub-plot fodder for the next book.

It's all grand!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Oh . . . unfortunately, my answer is yes to your first question. I never worried about anything in my books offending anyone before. Not that I wrong anything offensive, really. But now it seems like everything is offensive to someone. #sigh This is part of the reason I've been steering clear of social media, too. (I love that penguin!)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara - I can relate ... and have done some remarkably stupid things in my life - but obviously age fades! I try not to offend anyone ... but life goes on and I probably don't stop and think often enough. I most definitely try and stay on the safe side as far as writing is concerned, and nearly avoid social mediate of the FB or TW sort ... I haven't got the energy to argue. Stay safe - Hilary

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Great minds think alike. I posted the exact same insecurity.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've had some similar experiences, including with a note I tried to give to a guy to ask him out - yes, I was that...nerdy/foolish/young? Anyway, let's just say it was delivered by an intermediary who changed the wording slightly, but thankfully he had a conversation with me. I was still really embarrassed, and the intermediary was no longer my friend, but...somehow I survived the year of class with both of them in it.
Also, I've been too quiet and told I'm snobby, and too loud and told I'm arrogant because I expect "all" the attention. It's impossible to win if people are determined to be offended.
However, like you, I don't want to offend anyone. It's tough. I hope people I know feel love and encouragement from me. If they feel something else, I hope they tell me, but...if they are crazy, I'm going to have to discern that and move onward.

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Felicity Grace Terry said...

I think in this digital age it is more important the ever to think twice about what we are wanting to say. Maybe because people seem to be more easily offended and/or offended on behalf of other people but also that we are more likely to be communicating with others not only not local to us but from other countries when it is so easy for what we say to be misconstrued ... more so than when communicating by letter??? I know I have in the past fallen foul of my British sense of humour which several of my over seas bloggers didn't see as my being funny. I now always add something like 'she says laughing' (or similar) in order that people know I'm not being serious.

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