Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Quality of Character

My favorite Internet author, Melissa Lafsky, has been dealing with the aftermath of revealing her identity to thousands of readers in January after achieving fame as an anonymous blogger. One facet has been a new torrent of hate mail. Of course, it's all anonymous.

Last year, Lafsky had a lucrative job at a top Manhattan law firm. She resigned before revealing her blogging identity in a New York Observer article. She's hoping to succeed as a writer — and she'd better, because no firm is likely to hire her now. It was a gutsy move. They say, if you're going to do something, then commit yourself; if you're going to walk into walls, do it running. She did.

Her courage was met with hate mail from cowards. "You're a failure," they write. "You're going to fail." None of them sign their names.

I have to admit, I probably won't read her book. It's unlikely to match my reading habits; and anyway, someone who's been offering her product free faces a unique hurdle when she wants to begin charging for it. But I admire what she's doing, what it takes — and it puts her character into stark relief when she begins receiving profanity from anonymous cowards.


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