Over the last couple of days I've been a casual bystander for a few online squabbles and scraps ranging from Mac v PC, self-publishing v traditional publishing, the definition of 'legacy' and so on. On Twitter I've also quietly unfollowed a few people with trenchant political opinions which they show no shyness in sharing, or those who are constantly plugging their books despite the fairly well known advice that it's counter productive.
But part of me is fascinated by those who a) have such strong opinions and b) seem to show a complete lack of awareness that others might not share them. I have opinions, but rarely feel the need to share them with other people.
To me, that's part of being a writer. I spend so long thinking about people's point of view in fiction, trying to get inside their heads, that seeing things from all angles gets to be a habit. Character X may behave badly, but if I don't understand why, if I'm not at least aware of the reasons behind the behaviour I won't be able to write X with any conviction. And when X is speaking of their opinions I have to believe them regardless of what they are or the dialogue won't ring true.
I've trained myself to think from other people's point of view, and that has passed into my life. If some one real does something or says something I disagree with, I immediately think about why they think that and try to see it from their point of view. It tends to take the heat out of things.
So when I see writers banging on and on about this or that, I wonder what their writing is like. It makes me feel that it will be populated by one dimensional characters who all sound the same. Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it...