Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Don't Mean To Piss People Off

Here is a shot of the setting Texas sun last evening.

In the nearly year and a half I've been writing this blog I've come to know tons of new people that I know consider friends. I've yet to meet any of y'all in person that I didn't already know before I started this blog. I've sold a few short pieces directly as a result of this blog and I've had a couple of people in the business contact me after liking what they read. The blog also gives me a place to post my mind drippings and get a bit of feedback. Creating fiction does not provide that kind of immediacy.

So all in all this blog has been a positive, but like most everything thing in this world there are cons that accompany the pros.

Blogging takes time. Time I could spent on my fiction. Time I could be marketing my pre-published novels. Time I could be reading novels and studying the craft. But I learn about the craft through my connection with fellow writers , agents, and editors out in the blogosphere as well. so I see that as somewhat of a wash.

So what other cons are there?

My greatest fear about this blog is that it will somehow hurt my chances to build the writing career I desire. The last thing I want is to post things that could alienate agents, editors, or even potential readers, BUT

Ahhh ... the big proverbial but, ... You can't please everyone.

I sometimes get emails from readers. i won't call them hate emails but they are certainly critical. They come in two forms.

Dear Idiot,

You call yourself a writer but you misspelled superfragilisticexpeallidocius in yesterdays post and you forget two commas, one hyphen, a semi-colon and you participles were dangling all over the place. No wonder you can't sell your novel.


Strunk & White


Dear Torturer,

How dare you stand there grinning like a fat hairy ape while you torture that poor fish in your picture. How would you like me to yank you from your home and hold you underwater so you can't breath? You have no right to be cruel to any of God's creatures.


The Second Coming of Noah

Rarely do I respond to the first type of critic, mostly because I've explained on here numerous times that I cannot devote the necessary time to edit my blogs in the same manner than I do my fiction. Otherwise I would only be able to post a few times a month or I'd have to give up my fiction completely.

I do respond to the latter, but I'm not sure why. I'm never confrontational. I simply say that I'm sorry they feel that way, but I consider myself a responsible outdoorsemen. I do not break any laws and that for me hunting and fishing is a relaxing hobby. I mention that I also consider myself a conservationist as I belong to several organizations that promote natural habitat and in fact because of these efforts there are many species of animals that are larger in number today than anytime in the last century. (Such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) Then I thank the emailer for reading the blog and wish them well in their endeavors.

Most I never hear from again. A few of you have become regular readers and commenter's which I am proud you stayed. I guess what I am trying to say is that while I don't try to provoke argument or rub any one's nose in my ideals I am who I am, ... a meat loving, hunting, fishing, law-abiding, gun owning Texan. I've got my liberal side as well but that is a post for another day.

And for the record, that largemouth bass in the picture was released back into Lake Ray Roberts down near Dallas within seconds after that picture was snapped, so I only tortured him a little while. Could have been worse, I could have sent it to Guantanamo.

And that picture above ... I took while Dove hunting. So I open the debate. Does that make me evil? Should I apologize for being me?


Stephen Parrish said...

Could have been worse, I could have sent it to Guantanamo.

Nicely put.

The negative emails I get are usually from people who think I should love Jesus. It's amazing how many people want others to be just like them. Whatever happened to "I'm okay, you're okay?"

Kristen Painter said...

You should never apologize for being you. And if the blogging gets to be too much, cut back. It is your life, after all. No?

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Dear Travis,

I stand in awe. I must be the most boring blogger on earth because I don't get any evil emails, just nice ones from people like Patti Abbott and the Bag Lady.

I think you are a true gentleman for even answering critical emails.

As to how you live, hooray for you. it's your life and your lifestyle.

I have been a big city girl all my life and live in big city ways. I travel by all manner of public transportation and I am free to shop at 2 AM, etc. and a hundred people on the same sidewalk at the same time isn't unusual. Animals other than dogs and cats live in the zoo, etc. etc.

As a result, I was in my fifties before I ever went fishing. I was in my sixties before I ever fired a gun. Many city people never do either which is why I bring it up.

So life is what it is and people are who they are. I enjoy the blogoshpere because it presents a wonderful opportunity to learn about other people and other lifestyles.

Life's too short for confrontation. and you are too terrific to have to tolerate it.


Sizzle said...

Does it make you evil? No. Most certainly not.

I am not a hunter or a fisherman but I know many people who are. While I am more comfortable with fishing, hunting does trouble me. I'm just incredibly oversensitive when it comes to animals. . . except fish apparently because I don't feel that sad when they die. So I am a hypocritical animal activist because I gave up my vegetarianism many years ago.

So my point is, we are who we are and we all have the right to be that person. I am sad for the doves though.

Janna Qualman said...

You absolutely should not apologize for being you. As you said, you can't please everyone... so please yourself and whatever greater power you serve.


Georgie B said...

Never apologize for you being you.

I'm jealous that you get bad e-mails.

I can't even get bad comments on my blog.

Still a very nice blog you got here. I'm glad I found it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Every once in a while I've had some one visit my blog with a confrontational attitude. I don't get it. I don't go and confront others on their blogs. But it's just the way some folks are. I think you've handled it all with aplomb.

preTzel said...

Ahh Travis - there are a lot of assholes in this world and that's why their life stinks. So they want to share their stink with you. Misery loves company and all that crap.

Ignore the haters. It just means your blog is getting more popular. I don't get haters and really don't want them. The only e - mails I get are promises of millions from a foreign company or some thing to make my (non - existant) penis bigger.

I love your blog - have since the day you dragged me out of my pretzel bag and brought me over. I'm a huge fan and will always be a huge fan. Even if you are a Texan. :D

Travis said...

I don't like to be confrontational either. My blog is a place to post what I enjoy. I'm honored and constantly amazed that there are actually people out there who come by and read what I write...and that they do so repeatedly. I'm part of a wonderful community in the bloggosphere.

But that community is diverse and people aren't the same. They won't always agree with me and I won't always agree with them. It is in those moments of disagreement that we discover true friendship.

I like your responses to people who's only basis for criticism is that you don't think the same way as they do.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Travis, you should never apologize for being yourself. This is a big world and there oughta be room in it for all of us and we oughta respect our differences. Sometimes easier to say than do, I know.

Blgging does take up a lot of time, doesn't it? But yours are so interesting. Don't stop.


Anonymous said...

Oooh, beautiful scenery!

Yum, 6'5", 200!

David Cranmer said...

Ricky Nelson's lyrics are running through my noggin...

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

...don't change a thing.

Monnik said...

everyone's already said good stuff about the haters... ignore 'em.

But it sounds like you think blogging is getting in the way of your dream. You should cut back if you think it is... We'll still be here if you only post once or twice a week, you know...

yellowdog granny said...

it all balances out with the texas favorite color..skyblue pink..only in texas

Beth said...

No apology - ever - for who you are, your beliefs, what you write and for the way you live.
Those who send such hateful, negative emails should apologise - and those kind of people never will.
Don't waste your precious writing time replying to them!

Joshua said...

What I tell people when they find out I fish and hunt is that man was once not the top of the food chain, and I'll be dammed if I'm not gonna keep myself at the top. This response usually ends poorly and wtih police involvment. :)

I find that you will never change someones point of view and that no matter how non-offensive you are or perfect, someone will always be pissed off at something you do.

To them, I say eat s#$% and have a wonderful day.

SUV Mama said...

You get emails. That's a positive sign. That the emails are from fuckwits? Also a positive sign.
You can't be loved by all, my friend. Loved by few, liked by many, and hated by some... that's life.

I disagree with Terrie in that life is too short to deal with shit being thrown at you without throwing it back occasionally. Confrontation is good when used to strengthen your argument and make you stronger.

Just MY .02.

Melissa Marsh said...

Here's my opinion, FWIW. I don't think you're evil. I also don't think you should apologize for who you are.

What I have seen more and more on the Internet is this idea that we can attack each other, judge each other, put each other down, and generally be incredibly mean to each other simply because it is words on a screen. Three-quarters of all the attacks and hateful email would not occur if we were to have these discussions face to face.

It's like I've told my stepsons with their MySpace accounts - if you wouldn't say it to their face, don't type it in on their myspace page. Simple as that.

Lana Gramlich said...

1. That's a great photo.
2. I love "mind drippings." That's brilliant.
3. There are always going to be idiots & oversensitive people in the world. F*ck 'em. You be you. Always.
4. Keep up the good work!

Jason said...

Maybe you should become a vegetarian, bicycle to work and recycle.

If i interpret the bible right, we should eat our veggies.

"God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so."

What were we talking about?

the walking man said...

sshhh...don't tell anybody but I live in the city of Detroit and don't own a gun. I went hunting once about thirty years ago and shot a rabbit up the ass.

I despise the politic of the NRA but I think that if you want a gun, have one or five. You want to hunt & fish, for God's sake hunt and fish. I don't want to, so I simply don't. Why should any American try to impose their own personal lifestyle on another American? There are more important agenda's in this nation than your recreation habits.

Your blog...only a dolt can't get get beyond the misspelling (occasional) and fractured use of English (rare). The rules for English change all the time. I read and comment on blogs for their intent not their logistics.

I write my own as my output of creative endeavor because I don't participate in the "publish me" ideation. I don't care if anyone publishes my work and in fact there is a side bar opening it up for anyone to take anything off of my blog and do what they will with it, including put their own name on it...why?

Simply because I don't care, I know that what I write is original work and no one writes in the way that I do.

There is a lot of I's in this comment but...hell the long and short of it is; Travis do what you will for that is what makes all culture so interesting, it's diversity.

Now all that geek and your sunset!

Bea said...

You never have to apologize for being you. Always remember that.

Vodka Mom said...

WOW! Don't ever apologize. As a writer, honesty is one of your most valuable tools. Say what you want, say what you mean and be true to yourself, right?

I think you are a wonderful writer. Your words flow very nicely, and it is just a pleasure to read.

Keep up the good work - and, good luck.

Barbara Martin said...

Travis, don't worry about it...some people are just negative. It is far better to make a constructive remark about something that you may disagree with, or in the alternative, don't comment at all. Pass it by.

I like your blog because you say whatever is on your mind at the time. Besides, you are a very interesting guy.

Blogging takes a considerable amount of time, which is why I'm cutting back to three posts per week--with maybe an extra one thrown in occasionally. I need to get my own fiction writing done.

lyzzydee said...

I love reading your blog, and whatever the reason is for you doing it, I am glad that you do. I think it fulfils the need in us all to make contact with people from all over the world. As a kid I had pen friends from all over, this is an extention of that, only now blogging reaches out to loads of people at the same time!!
If its impacting your ambitions, cut back. I hope you don't but I'm being selfish!!

Patti said...

oh man. if you start going around apologizing, where is that going to leave me...the female who regularly says the f word, and owns a shotggun, and eats meat, and is a conservative, and likes to mock stupidity, and....well, you see?

Don't do it man. if not for you, don't do it for the rest of us miscreants.

Bubblewench said...

Oh yeah, you're evil for being a man, having outdoor hobbies, speaking your mind and having a personality. You evil Meatatarian you!

You are well aware that crap is just that - crap.

There is no room for apologies in blogworld. Especially for being yourself and having a blog.

Scott Lessard said...

You don't mention how you did on Friday. So, any dove?

I've been out three times so far and haven't gotten a one. I think it's because I wasn't born in Texas, therefore I am missing the gene that gives you the ability to shoot straight.

What those yahoo's don't understand is that it isn't about the kill, it's about spending time in the great outdoors, enjoying beautiful sunrises/sunsets like the one you show in your post.


Hilary said...

I guess it's easy for people to hide behind the semi-anonymity that the internet provides. Particularly when someone "attacks" you in email rather than allowing their comment to be seen by others.

Those who criticize grammar in someone's personal blog are simply rude (and begging to make a spelling error or typo of their own). And those who hurl PETA-like daggers at you are.. ridiculously uninformed.

That having been said, I'm with Sizzle. I'm learning to cope with and even enjoy the whole concept called fishing. Hunting is another thing entirely for me. I could never do it for "pleasure," and so I won't. Simple as that. It's your pleasure and your blog.

And I think you write very well about all sorts of things. Easier said than done, but let it roll off your back. Or post a disclaimer that you reserve the right to post all nasty comments received by email. That'll quell them. ;)

Mom In Scrubs said...

Give a negativity-spreader something to hide behind, and look out!

Anyone who can't see your particular brand of brilliance should find another place to spread excrement.

Blog on, at your leisure. We'll all be here.

alex keto said...

I thought the whole point of your writing was to be yanked out of your present condition and held under the stream of publicity so long you could hardly breath.

Ah well, my mistake

holly said...

how DARE you shoot the soon as it's going down! jeeeez is nothing sacred around you?

dude. you so should *not* apologize.

loved the guantanamo line. :)

dee said...

well you know what they say - you'e never really a business person until you get sued and you're never really a writer until you get that first letter from prison. So I guess you're doing well...and the thing that makes you blog the best is that its real and interesting...not like plastic tofo sitting on a plate!!

texlahoma said...

I don't think water boarding a fish would be very effective anyway, he'd probably enjoy it.

Mary said...

No way should you apologise for being you.

Most readers of your blog enjoy it because you are you. :)

WordVixen said...

What a gorgeous photo! And Strunk & White should be ashamed of themselves. That's it, I'm throwing my copy of my book away unless they apologize!