It’s a new year and a lot of people are making resolutions to pay more attention to their health. I would like to make an appeal to the people who I come in contact with through my writing to adopt that resolution. What I describe below does not apply to everyone, of course. I’m hoping that if it applies to you, though, you’ll want to be healthier this year.
We live in a world FULL of political, intellectual, sociological, cultural, DIVERSE literary ideas, works and events. Every day I go to Facebook to check my messages, and in my newsfeed there are interesting articles, and often, I share them with the over 3000 “friends” who see my Timeline. The posts that have to do with history, culture, literature, art, psychology, world events etc. typically don’t generate many comments or likes. The funny memes and the posts about giveaways, in contrast, often do quite well. I encourage those who see my Timeline to read some of the articles in the former group. Just see what they’re about. You might really find them interesting. Growth is healthy.
Having diverse interests can also impact in a positive way on the the world around you. Likewise, in my newsfeed, I see plenty of teasers these days with very explicit language, for example, the word “cock” used three or four times in as many sentences. I suspect that the reason that things are becoming more and more explicit, is that people are becoming desensitized, just like porn addicts. There is no shame in liking erotic or sensual books, but when a person has no outside interests other than erotica, the chances are they are at least becoming addicted. Soon, an author must become more and more extreme to create the reaction addicts are craving. Then it’s not about storytelling anymore, and that was always what separated erotica from porn. Addiction is not healthy.
I also see many people in the book world who exhibit extreme behavior. I have been attacked by a couple, and it’s kind of scary. These people acted as if they were emotionally unbalanced, over perceived slights that were not based in reality. Further, I’ve seen women interacting in ways with male authors, models, even waiters and busboys at author events, that would likely be considered sexual harassment if gender roles were reversed. I’ve also seen them compete with each other to gain proximity to authors, male and female, become territorial and possessive, all over a person who they don’t even know in real life. That type of behavior is most definitely unhealthy.
So, let this be a year of balance and good health. Let it be one in which you explore new interests and log off whenever you feel any extreme emotion tied to a book or an author. You’ll be doing yourself an even bigger favor than losing those 10 lbs you’ve promised yourself that you’ll shed.