Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The misunderstood writer: What to do?

It was satire!

As writers we're sometimes misunderstood or misinterpreted. This can lead to hurt feelings and mistaken impressions. In fact, if we don't word things very carefully, we may end up misrepresenting our own thoughts, beliefs and convictions.

I'm sorry to say that I've been responsible for hurting the feelings of a fellow writer in the past. She took a sarcastic blog post that I wrote quite literally. Ironically, I was making the very same point she made in her retaliation post, just in a satirical way. 

And them was fightin' words. 

In all seriousness, though, I was truly sorry that I offended her. Apparently, my satire was so good, she took it to represent my true feelings. Was it flattering that I could be so convincing? Sure. That doesn't mean I should have ignored her ire, though.

What can you do in this situation? Well, I apologized, quite sincerely, several times. I even rewrote the post. You might think this was unnecessary because it wasn't my fault she took my sarcasm literally. I disagree. Why?

Well, because no matter what my intent, I did indeed hurt her and I am sorry for that. My friendships with my fellow writers are very important to me. So, even though she directly insulted me in her retaliation post, I didn't take offense. I might have done the same if I took one of her articles the way she took mine, especially under her current circumstances. Sure, I could have been rude to her, but I think she genuinely thought I was insulting her choices. 

Plus, we were both making the same point. She was on my side. 

So, there you go. If you are a writer who offends someone, even by mistaken impression, try to look at it from the other person's viewpoint. Try to see what they're saying. And above all, be understanding. We all make mistakes. No point in hurting each other in the process.

Isn't it worth a little rewrite to save a friendship?

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