Earlier this year, I blogged about how two of my friends, on opposite sides of the Author-Fan relationship spectrum, had interesting experiences. One of my friends was slighted by an author who took her criticism out of context; the other is a creator who’s had to deal with an overly attached young fan.
In recent months, I’ve experienced a similar challenge to my author friend. When people join the very small Allison the Writer fandom, I appreciate it so much, but that doesn’t make me best buddies with all of my fans. It’s true, I have good friends who have become fans of my work, and I also have fans of my work who have become my good friends. But this doesn’t apply to everyone, and in my situation, I feel the fan wasn’t getting that.
There’s a lot of background information that I feel would be inappropriate and disrespectful to get into, so I’ll cut to the chase. Long story short, I asked them (as politely as I could manage) to leave me alone, to not email me as they’d been doing every time I posted something new and interesting to the blog. It’s a free country and I can’t stop them from reading my blog, even leaving public comments on my posts. (I mean, I could, but I really shouldn’t….)
I saw the way a famous author acted beneath her dignity and slighted my friend on social media; I’d hate to be that person to somebody else. As an author, artist, creator, I feel I have an obligation to be professional, not pettily vindictive or mean simply because I have the power to do so. Everything I said about barriers of professionalism still stand for me, and as challenging as it may be, I must stick to them.
Anyway, this small, somewhat annoying challenge was a good opportunity to practice what I’d preached with little experience to justify it at the time. At the end of the day, I’m grateful to G-d for giving me this test.