If you didn't see it, a few updates ago there was a reader who made an... interesting comment.
The short and gist of it is that according to them Xylia is no longer on hiatus. It is officially cancelled. This is so because of the length of time that has passed since the hiatus began.
Let me preface some of what I am going to say with the fact that we have a group of readers affectionately called Xyliacs. They are some of the most awesome people I have ever had the privilege to know. They often awe me, inspire me, humble me, and make me smile. And I know Barb feels the same way. It's for you, fellow Xyliacs, that she finds the strength to keep going.
And you are amazing, my dear Xyliac, because Xyliacs are always ready to defend Barb from such negative comments. Thank you, by the way.
And that's what happened. Defending went on, explanations were given, common sense was spoken. And eventually I saw Barb say something that I have seen her say before.
Essentially: "Where's Josh (That would be me) for damage control?"
Being a marketer, that's what I normally do. But anyone following along may realize that until now Iv'e been somewhat silent on this going on.
So allow me to let you in on how my process usually works, and a little bit of why I was silent.
You see, when I saw this person write that Xyliatales was officially moved into the cancel pile (As though anyone besides Barb could declare that) and that Barb shouldn't renew the domain, my first instinctual thought was that this person could... well go to a particular place that's unpleasant.
Barb is my friend. A very close friend. Who is talented, and kind, and giving. Barb is a person who puts everyone first, even at great personal expense. She is a mother, a good one, who actually cares about her children. She cares about their hopes, dreams, talents, and futures. She is a self-sacrificing, stronger than the titans, kind hearted, human being.
No one deserves to be treated that way. And when you treat my friend that way, the first instinct is to attack, defend, strike back. It's the only true human response you can have when a true friend is left a comment like that.
But that's not good marketing. Not good press. Not good image. So I took a step back.
The key to finding the right words to say to put out fires and handle... undesirable people with undesirable comments, is to take a step back and wait. Let the sting fade a little. And then ask a few questions.
1: Is there any merit to this comment? (The answer is often no)
2: Is there any gain in being led into an argument? (The answer is always no)
3: Is there any good in handling this professionally? (The answer is always yes)
4: Do the great many good Xyliacs deserve better? (The answer is always yes)
5: Then who should more time be spent on? (The answer is always Xyliacs)
So I tend to play it by ear from there. If there is a fire to put out, I do so. If nothing else to protect everyone from that fire. And then I want to redirect the attention from the single person causing a negative scene, to the many more wonderful causing a positive scene.
And that would be you, Xyliacs. You know who you are. And I want to focus on the Xyliacs now.
Being a Xyliac requires no formal induction, no set rules, or any sort of joining commitment.
Xyliacs are who they are because of their spirit, loyalty, and many varying amazing qualities.
Some comment, encourage, help, and brighten the day. Others are Xyliacs from a more discreet area, merely staying behind the scenes, but staying loyal even through long hiatuses.
There is one thing that every Xyliac has in common. You all leave me in awe. At how wonderful people can be. How great humanity can be. And for reminding me again and again, that yes there will be one or two people who say awful things. But there are many more who whether those storms and show us the rainbow.
And I know Barb and I will never be able to say it enough. Thank you.
Edit Addendum: I'm not saying defending Barb is bad by the way. What isn't obvious is that I have the easier job sometimes. Other people do all the defending and then I step in after and calmly make things tidy. The fact is, it's an extreme compliment to Barb that given the chance there are those who would step to her defense at a moment's notice. And I wouldn't trade people like that away for the world. There's a line in the Bible that roughly translated to the New Canterrain version goes like this: There is no greater friend in the world than one who would lay his life down for you.
And in that same vein, nowhere on the internet is there a more awesome group of individuals than the Xyliacs.