We’ve been having a conversation on twitter and here are some of the highlights.
How you choose to interact with artists is, or course, up to you. However, here are some pointers on how to talk to artists about their work online and what to do and not to do.
1) There is a small but very important difference between saying “Jeremy Whitley is a bad writer” and saying “@princelesscomic is a bad writer. It is the difference between discussing my work with other people and walking into my house and slapping me.
2) Treat a person’s timeline like it is their house. Know that if you tag them in your post you that you are sending them a message. I know people @ people in things like #FF but you have to know you are jumping up in someone’s mentions when you do that.
3) Throwing an @ symbol at someone when giving them an angry or negative review or generally talking junk about them is a dick move. If you do it, the natural and justified reaction to that is to block you. Them blocking you does not mean that they are a poor sport or that you have somehow won, it just means you’ve lost access to that creator. Believe me that creators do not lose any sleep over not seeing your dickish tweets in their mentions. Most of us are too busy trying to eat.
4) The word “critique” is overused on the internet. A critique involves a knowledgeable and reasoned analysis of a work of art. Generally speaking, these are the unicorns of social media.
5) What most people mean when they say “critique” is actually an opinion. The thing about opinions is that everybody has them, they can be wrong, and they can often be easily proven wrong.
6) Saying “That’s just my opinion” does not make it valid. Some opinions are poorly formed. Some opinions are uninformed. there is nothing sacred about an opinion.
7) A mark of an actual critic is that they refer their criticism to the work and not to the creator. A character can suck. Telling a writer they suck is picking a fight.
8) Most writers, myself included, are happy to respond to questions and love to do Q&A’s. However, if you don’t ask a question, don’t expect an answer. Insult and Answer is not a thing.
9) Creators are people and deserve to be treated as such.
10) Creators are under no obligation to “get” or “share” your “sense of humor”.