This was one of my mother’s favorite sayings. “Don’t go cutting off your nose to spite your face.” It was one of those sayings that took me years and years to decipher although I did quickly realize that she said it whenever I was going off to do something that would ultimately cause me grief. How do mom’s always know these things?
In this electronic age, it is super easy to do serious damage to your own reputation. I’ve heard of authors who:
Have complained about how lazy editors are on Twitter only to discover that their ms was at the top of someone’s to-be-read pile when that Tweet caught the editor’s eye. Instant rejection!
Have gotten into flame wars over a seriously bad review. Tempting though it may be, the author never comes out looking professional.
Have panned an organization publicly and then turned to that organization for recognition. Umm. . . electronic paper trail mean anything to you?
Instead, take a page from Lauren Myracle’s script (read Myracle’s blog post at Huffington about the whole situation with the National Book Foundation). She has been through an emotional roller coaster over the past week, but not once has she publicly acted out. Think how tempting it must have been. But, no. She’s been gracious. And in so doing, she has gained new readers and, I would guess, a host of invitations to speak at various events.
You too can be a class act. I know you can.