The Fear of Pissing Off Your Audience While Trying to Get One in the First Place

The cover of my new book. Someone told me it looks like something they may have read, but I’m not seeing it.

One of the problems of being political or taking a political stance is that chances are pretty good that you’re going to end up pissing off someone when you didn’t intend to do just that. As a writer, my goal is always to entertain as many people as possible, so whenever I deal with political issues, I get scared that whatever I’m going to say is bound to cause an audience member to dislike me. And these days, when someone dislikes you, that person tends to stop following and you never hear from that person again.

Therefore, it becomes a dilemma.

Because if one focuses on this type of fear then a writer is bound to water down whatever he or she has to say and only say the things that he or she hopes the audience is interested in hearing. And I can only imagine how bland and boring that might turn out to be.

The other day, I posted a tongue in cheek comment about something, and one of my politically correct “friends” corrected me and told me that I had to be careful, because saying such things can be construed to be wrong. I didn’t respond, but part of me was thinking: “Hey, I said what I said because it was something I wanted to say. If it bothers you, just ignore it or go frack yourself.” I didn’t say that because I’m a complete coward, but it did cause me to think.

And then the next week, that same person posted something that was completely one-sided, told in a tone that she knew best and anyone else who disagreed was obviously stupid. Basically, she did exactly what she told me not to do and then didn’t think anything of it. I then started to notice she does that all of the time.

Some people are like that. They are good at criticizing, but not so good at avoiding the behavior they criticize in the first place.

But then, she’s not a writer worried about people not continuing to read what she writes, and I am. So, there’s the dilemma.

Which kind of brings me to wondering how it is possible for polemic people to write the types of articles they do, knowing that people are going to be annoyed at what they write. I’m thinking about people like Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, and Tomi Lahren. The first two have completely established audiences that they’re probably never going to lose, but like the latter one, it leaves me wondering what kinds of risks is someone like Lahren willing to make in order to remain somewhat relevant in a very hostile media atmosphere. And part of me is also constantly wondering if part of the appeal is physical attractiveness as well, because if there wasn’t that, I kind of wonder at how many followers someone like her would have if the audience isn’t already cemented.

Social media seems to be one of those weird animals in that some people just come to it naturally and do really well right out the gate, whereas others, like me, take to it slowly and never really seem to reach the audiences they dream of achieving. It’s like the market for writing novel e-books. I’ve been writing for decades, and the readers I have tend to be the same readers who found me some years back. Others, I’ve seen them publish their first book and suddenly they’re selling them faster than Amazon can print them. Okay, Amazon doesn’t exactly print them, but you get the idea. I hope.

Some people just do really well with little effort while others succeed without trying. I’m starting to believe that that is how social media works for some people as well. While some people have the added benefit of being attractive to, well, attract others, those of us like me, toad-like in appearance, pretty much have to fight for each stride of existence. Okay, not toad-like, but I will admit that when my picture is put next to Brad Pitt’s, people tend not to stop and think: “Wow, I can’t tell them apart.” Definitely not. Brad’s got nothing on me!

Anyway, so the point is that getting an audience can be pretty tough and then once you do, it’s like walking on egg shells to make sure that you don’t lose any of your listeners. People can be pretty fickle about such things, and once you’ve lost a member of your audience, you tend to never get that person back.

So, if this bothers anyone who happens to be reading this, understand that it was someone else who said it, not me. I would never say anything to piss you off. Really. I’m just that kind of guy.

Please don’t go!

duaneThe Fear of Pissing Off Your Audience While Trying to Get One in the First Place

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *