Sometimes Hatemail is Fun
Your Opinions are All Wrong
One of the things that is rarely talked about in the writing world is hate mail. Sure, there's all sorts of articles and blog entries about how great it is to get glowing reviews and comments, and how absolutely fulfilling that is, but not many people really want to talk about the reverse side of the coin. However if you are a writer of anything and you want to put it online you are going to get some hate mail. It's merely a question of when. It's easy for newbie writers to take these comments personally and be put off but don't be! Hate mail is part of the process and if you write opinion pieces or personal experience expect to get more hate mail than the guy next to you who's writing a bland essay on medieval manuscripts. Sooner or later you will learn that every opinion you have as a human is diabolical and wrong and that you are the reason for society's downfall. Congrats!
In a World Full of Grammar Nazis You're the One Wearing a Pink Triangle
I think the most common negative comments you are going to get are someone whining about your atrocious grammar. Maybe you've mistaken then for than, had the gall to have a couple typos, or decided to maliciously misspell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, damning children reading your article to never knowing the actual spelling. You'll get comments like the one I got for my Overworked Children and their Parents, "You should proofread and spell check your posts before publishing--"opportunities" and "preparing" are blatant mistakes but there are more..." Despite looking I never found more and those were only misspelled once. I'm not excusing my mistakes but they weren't that bad. I'm not saying you shouldn't bother to proofread but I am saying it's almost impossible to get all of the mistakes out of your longer articles and even when you do you might come across someone that thinks you've done something wrong, and from the goodness of their misinformed heart, will try to correct you on some ill-known grammar rule they've obviously gotten mistaken. Take these comments with a grain of salt. They just think that because you've written an article you must be God and when they see a mistake they are personally offended because God's always supposed to be perfect, no? If there is an actual error correct it but make sure the commenter knows what they are talking about and confer with a dictionary or a grammar website first just to make sure. After all, the commenters definitely aren’t God.
You're Not Funny
I know this article is likely to get some bitching. "Your pink triangle reference is offensive and wrong to gay people!" "Well yeah, I could have used a star of David reference but there's way more Jewish people than there are gays to offend." Such sarcasm (as well as the ability to talk to one's self like in the last dialogue) is usually not appreciated by a lot of people. If you are writing anything with a comedic bent, especially if it's satire, people are going to get pissed. Someone out there is going to think you're one twisted fuck and should be skewered alive for one joke or another. Sometimes they don't even understand your article is supposed to be funny. It doesn't matter. Just shake your head in pity for the poor unfortunate souls who don't have a sense of humor.
Don't Dangle a Red Flag in Front of a Bull and Hope for a Good Outcome
Some articles you write will probably be about some touchy issues. Touchy issues get a lot of readers because they're interesting but with that comes a lot of haters. I have written my share of these and to be honest I really thought my Biblical Defenses for Beating Your Children would have gotten a lot more haters, at least I was hoping.. Instead my Teenage Hypocrite's Speech on Teens seems to be getting all the flak, which is sort of horrible because I state at the beginning I was fourteen when I wrote it. Technically all the punks are calling a fourteen year old a self-righteous, stuck-up, little elitist. My fourteen year old self is a little hurt, but my current self is laughing. Sometimes things you don't really expect to be controversial turn out to be like when an actual telemarketer responded to my article Interesting Ways to Make Telemarketers Cry. Other times I brace myself because I know what I'm doing. In my Popes Gone Wild article I fully knew there would be threats of hellfire and damnation and people offering to pray for my poor misguided soul. I love this comment because it's so to the point, "Theophanes, I'm glad you're laughing in this life, because you'll be wailing and gnashing your teeth in the next..."
I Know Where You Live
Of course the most stinging of hateful comments can be thrown by someone you know who happens to be pissed at you and figures dissing your writing is the easiest way to cut you to the quick. Maybe you didn't invite someone to you last party, maybe you gave someone some bad advice, maybe you looked cross-eyed at the cashier yesterday, who knows, either way one of these days you will likely come across someone with a personal vendetta. These are the only comments I tend to delete off my own HubPages for the simple reason that it muddles things, gets off topic, and doesn't do my personal image a hell of a lot of good.
I'm so Letting Your Panties Tie in a Bunch
In the end we should learn to enjoy our hate mail and negative comments. I believe some of mine are downright hilarious because they're just so blatantly wrong. For instance I get a lot of downright bizarre comments on my articles about asexuality. Apparently not only is sexuality taboo and offensive, so is a lack of it. This particular comment posted on The Upside of Asexuality is probably one of the funniest I have ever received, "you're probably just a closeted homosexual who can't accept themselves as such, or are afraid that if you took on a "feminine" role as a gay man and had sex with men, men would use you and cast you aside and trample your feelings because to you that is just a part of male nature." The next two comments are hastily written by the same person, "Sorry, I assumed you were a guy...I think it's because your comments about women seemed to come from such a total lack of understanding that I thought you had to be male to get women so wrongly!" Why thank you! I am happy to know that not only you but several others think I am a complete failure as a woman, some even going so far as to hint I'm a misogynist. It touches my heart, it does. In fact this is why I have a male pen name to begin with... because I had such a penchant for pissing off female readers by denouncing them as somehow less than perfect that I figured I'd just target a male audience and avoid the whole mess, giving myself a masculine moniker. As you can see that didn't really work. In my asexuality series I've been called closed-minded, closeted, miserable, lonely, and even self-centered when I wrote Not Everyone Wants Kids. Yes, it's obviously me who is self centered by not wanting to pop out several unwanted children and raise them as the accidents they are. I am such a bastard for wanting to prevent psychological damage before it's caused, such an inhumane trait. As I said before it doesn't matter what you write, someone is going to take offense and write something nasty. If you're lucky it'll be long and ranting and make no sense whatsoever.
If this article made you smile maybe you'd like some others written by Theophanes: