Watch Your Words
It happens to me from time to time. Thankfully less and less as I follow this insight. If some bit of information rubs me the wrong way, I try and be wise about the way I respond. If you fire off the wrong words, you can inflame the situation rather than calm it. I find this true whether I am sending an email or writing something for these entries about The Writing Life. It's important to watch your words.
I find this especially true with these entries about The Writing Life. I've quoted journalists from publications like The New Yorker and received emails from them later that day. I written about authors and their books where I had no personal relationship or connection and received personal emails (of appreciation) later that day. The world is small and interconnected so you need to be aware of this fact. I'm not involved in investigative journalism or heavy critiques that will rile folks and I'm thankful about it.
Many people have forgotten that I do have a journalism degree from Indiana University, one of the top j-schools in the United States. Admittedly it was years ago that I took communications law but those lessons remain ingrained in my writing life and practices. I was reminded of the importance of watching my words when I read an article in today's Arizona Republic from Caryn Rousseau (Associated Press). Here's the same article which appeared in the Chicago Tribune. Notice the links and other information in this helpful article. A little forethought may save you lots of grief down the road. In general I try and follow the saying my mother drilled in me--and you've probably heard as well, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
It's a good word to the wise when it comes to your writing--of any type.