Back before my books began selling well enough for me to quit my day job, I'd often leave for work before my kids woke up and get home after they'd gone to bed. Working from home, as I do now, I get to spend so much more time with them.
For this reason, I care a great deal about my career, and I'll often seek out advice from others who are making a good living with their writing. But lately, I've been getting some unsolicited advice from some unexpected places.
Ever since the election back in November, I've gotten quite a bit of career advice from people who seem to think they know more about running my business than I do. By a staggering coincidence, when I look deeper into who these generous advisors are, they almost all seem to share similar views on how to make America great again.
The "reasoning" is almost always the same. By poking fun at certain institutions and people they hold dear, I'm alienating up to half of my potential audience.
Oh dear, that is alarming! Thank you for pointing this out to me. It certainly warrants further investigation.
Let's start with a benchmark to look at in order to see where I might be going astray. Can you name a book that's universally loved by everyone?
I apologize. I didn't mean to throw such a curve ball right out of the gate. Let's back up a step and try again.
Can you name a book?
Whoa! Slow down there, buddy. We don't want to pull a muscle.
My career is my responsibility, so I'll take on the heavy lifting.
Having looked through a number of books, I can't seem to find any which are loved by everyone. It's almost like different people have different tastes.
Interestingly enough, people seem even more divided on satire, which is the brand of comedy I write. Do you know what satire is? Here, I'll dig up the definition for you.
By definition, it would appear that I'm not going to be able to help alienating some people.
But here I am talking theories, when we could be looking at actual data.
Since most of this "advice" comes from people responding to content on my Facebook page rather than the content of my books (It's almost seems like most of these generous advisors don't even read my books.), I'll post a screen shot of a blog post I put on Facebook just as our new pee-resident was being sworn in.
At the risk of alienating half my audience, I let my emotions take over. Let's see how it panned out.
Between two angry faces, eleven people who chose to hide the post, and nine people who chose to hide all of my posts, that's a combined total of twenty-two pieces of negative feedback.
Looking at the positive, I had 230 likes, 41 loves, 41 laughs, and 35 shares, for a combined total of 347 pieces of positive feedback.
I'm no statistician, but 22 doesn't seem like anywhere close to half of 347. But then, math is hard. I'm going to need a smarter person to help me out here. Who better than our new Secretary of Education?
How about it, Betsy? Is 22 approximately half of 347?
I guess I'll have to rely on my own interpretation of numbers, and those numbers indicate to me that satire is a booming industry in these trumpy times.
Since the Great T-bag took office, giving me and other satirists an endless well of shit to make fun of him for, my books have sold more and my Facebook page has grown faster. On the surface it would seem foolish to alter my course.
And I hope you fine people who have gone out of your way to provide me with your wisdom will forgive me, but I'm beginning to question the motives behind some of the advice I'm getting.
When I'm told I should respect a president by people who spent the last eight years frothing at the mouth about the last one being a Kenyan-born Muslim terrorist, I wonder if they only care about me respecting the president that they like.
When I'm told I should respect people's religion when those people enthusiastically support a man who wants to ban and/or register all the Muslims, I wonder if they only care about me respecting their religion.
When I'm told I should be careful about what I post on my Facebook page by people who don't read my books, I wonder if they're less concerned with my career, and more concerned with trying to get me to shut up about things that they don't like. (You can always unlike/unfriend/block... just sayin'.)
But who am I to question the integrity of others? I'm willing to give those people the benefit of the doubt and assume they're just stupid.