On the Feeding of Trolls

It’s been a privilege to have our son home for a few days; I learn something new every time he’s here. For example, I was telling him about a particularly snarky email I’d received from a Hattie reader and how I agonized over my reply. Tyler’s terse advice: “Mom, don’t feed the Trolls.”

Everyone but me is probably aware that “Trolls” are people who like to email and/or post inflammatory comments with the sole intent to incite reaction. They do not stop to think that they are making said comments to real live human beings with feelings (and in the case of this particular author, very tender feelings when it comes to her work). Like the yellers on talk radio and much of TV, the last thing they’re interested in is discourse.

That got me to thinking, of course, of all the Trolls in my writing life, the largest and vilest of whom live in the corner of my study, oozing their swampy-sewagey scent, always at the ready to tell me that what I’ve written is no good, or that I will soon be discovered as a fraud. Their favorite mantra of the past two years: “You’ll never write again.” (Barbara O’Connor talks about feeling her “idea box” is empty).

I’ve also been hearing from some Trolls –even well-meaning ones — bringing up all the reasons we shouldn’t be taking this trip to the Middle East. My mom always told me not to borrow trouble. And that’s how I’m approaching this trip. I’m going for a good purpose and will be with good people so I am expecting nothing but wonder and connections.

So, thanks to Tyler, I have a new mantra: Don’t feed the Trolls. In writing, in life — I’m going to starve the ugly buggers every chance I get.

Now I must go and convert this

to this.

The next time you’ll hear from me will be from Doha!
Ma salama.

No Responses to “On the Feeding of Trolls”

  1. Emilie

    You have what sounds like a lovely trip planned, and as long as you keep your troll spray handy, you should be just fine:) Can’t wait to read about it and travel vicariously through your blog!

  2. Mrs. F-B's Books Blog

    My husband always accuses me of being one of the ONLY people who says, “Don’t borrow trouble.” HAH! Now I can tell him a famous author says it too, so there! Hope you have a fantastic trip! I’ll look forward to reading all about it. It’s going to be fantastic!

  3. abudohareillys

    Thank you for not feeding the trolls. Your presentations today were fabulous and we are so luck to have you and Neil here with us. Anita