Yesterday I posted what I thought was a hilarious riff on an event from my past, one where I was an asshole, and my friends called me an asshole. I thought a stream of jokes on the theme of “Yeah, I’m an asshole” would be an amusing half-joke/half-apology.
Turns out I was wrong about that.
Turns out that my intent of poking fun at myself read like an attack on my friends, whom I had wronged on that night. Turns out that my assumption that everybody appreciates humor-as-apology as much as I do was an incorrect assumption.
Turns out I hurt my dear friends more, which was the opposite of my intent.
Other people might get a pass on that, but I should not. I’m a professional writer. If the intent of my words wasn’t clear, then that’s on me. It’s my failure and my shame.
So listen, my friends who were part of that whole event last summer and now. I apologize. I am deeply sorry that I implied for a moment that you are less important to me than you are. Because you are very, very important to me.
This is what it looks like when a writer screws up. He says things that get misunderstood, despite the fact that being understood is his stock in trade. And something goes bad as a result.
What does it look like when a writer fixes it? This is part of that…I screwed up in public and I should apologize in public…but a lot of it will happen off screen.