Even up until just a few days ago, I proclaimed my internet motto was "Don't Be a Dick." On the surface, it seems perfectly reasonable. Common sensical. But I worry that people will take it as a very black and white stance, like-bum, bum, buuuuuum-Never Be Mean! People Are Too Fragile! You'll Melt The Special Snowflakes! (there might even be handwringing or a solitary tear).
I'm not a concrete thinker. My world is neither black nor white. Even as a child I questioned everything including myself. I'm a self-assessor. I evaluate everything and try to get a global picture of issues and emotions and what have you.
I live in a VERY grey world.
And guess what, I can be a dick-Strike that-I NEED to be a dick. My writing depends on it. I write people who are gleefully mean. They have strengths. They're bitingly funny. But they in no means give a single fuck. Giving a fuck strips away the humor. The second I worry about whether a reader will be offended is the moment I know the scene is probably EXACTLY what I need to keep in the book.
That's where the internet is so tricky. There are so many outraged people, so horribly offended about things that I would really have to struggle to give a fuck about. I make an effort to block them from my feed.
The easily offended are NOT my readership. They just aren't. And being aware of that is fantastically freeing. I can dig back into my work and create the kind of nasty humor I love and fans of the books love without worrying.
So, don't worry, I'll just continue to be a dick in the greyest most flexible way ever. Am I still extremely polite? The kind of hospitable and courteous man only a Southern mother could raise? Yeah, absolutely. But right now, I'm over here being a dick. And it's all for you.
Are you a dick?