Monday, December 6, 2010

On my mind

I try not to complain on my blog – unless, of course, it’s about my characters misbehaving or a plot gone crazy. But I have to admit, some stuff on the blogosphere/Twitter has had me a bit miffed lately.

It basically boils down to one thing: people not thinking about other people, and even in some cases, how they used to be the same as those people they aren’t thinking about. For example, an author with a debut novel coming out in 2012 commenting on Twitter about Authoress’ Backer’s Dozen Contest to one of the bidding agents. And called the entries “junk.”

Really? I suppose once you have a book deal you forget all about where you were before then? That you were once an aspiring author, putting themselves out there for a chance to get an agent’s attention and get feedback from the community? I guess writing one book that hasn’t released yet makes you an expert on writing?

Or 2011 debut author that commented in their bio about how they don’t understand why aspiring authors struggle with getting published – after all, that author landed a deal really fast on the first try. Good for you – no, great for you and I truly mean that…but do you really need to rub it in the face of someone who wasn’t as lucky? Or someone who had to work a little harder to achieve their dream? Or someone who is still chasing the dream?

Or aspiring and published authors alike who slam fiction/novels/aspiring authors that differ from/don’t write in whatever genre you love best? Or bash blog posts and trends because they don’t match up with your tastes?

It’s one thing to not like a book, to give it a bad review, to think one genre is superior to another, and to prefer writing in that genre. Opinions are like assholes, right? Everyone one has one, and everyone has a right to share – especially on the internet where you can be anonymous and never face the people you’re insulting.

But you can have an opinion without being an asshole.

Just because you landed an agent, or a book deal with a big house or an indie house, or on the bestseller list…well, it doesn’t really give you the right to throw shit at the people who aren’t there yet. It doesn’t really mean that you know everything about publishing and everything about writing. Just because you prefer one genre doesn’t mean everything else sucks.

Remember, before you became “famous” you were one of people chasing the dream. And those dreams and journeys come in all shapes, sizes, time frames and genres. Think a little. Unless you have thousands of followers on Twitter or your blog, you probably know a little bit about most of the people spending the time to read what you post.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t care how popular a novel is. If I think the author is a dick, I’m not going to rush out and buy their novel. So at the very least, think of it as helping your sales. After all, if you’re doing this kind of stuff – like calling other people’s writing junk, publicly, where you have to know all those people are looking at the agent’s feed – my guess is you don’t care much about anyone but yourself.

But that’s just my opinion, isn’t it?


Amanda said...

Well said! I feel the exact same way. I find it very off-putting when a pubbed or soon-to-be pubbed author trashes other writers/bloggers/books/publishers. It's bad form and not helpful to your carrer AT ALL. Jeaniene Frost once commented on Twitter that she WILL not give a blurb to an author who trashes others. And she does her research. Everyone's journey is different. It doesn't make yours any better or worse. Just different. I feel blessed to be a part of the writing/publishing/blogging/book community. We should all remember that if you can't say something nice, you shouldn't say anything at all.

Julie R. Mann said...

I completely agree and that was such a good way to say it too. I don't understand why someone would feel the need to say that though? It's absolutely ridiculous.

gary said...

Clap. Clap. Clap. Yes!

I haven't seen anything like that yet, but that would piss me off to no end. I really don't see the point to it aside from being hurtful. As criticism (which I'm sure wasn't their intent) it's not even useful.

I'm sure we'd all like a sweet book (and movie and video game) deal, but, in the end, it's about the love of telling the stories, right? Statements like what you've quoted show a complete discrespect for the work involved for writers to grow and hone their skills.

WindyA said...

I applaud your sentiment and doubt there's a writer out there (except maybe the one you mention) who would disagree with your sentiment.

Amanda said...

Thank you for posting this! I saw the same Tweet and was just as upset as you were. I'm so grateful that you've expressed how I felt here.

Let's not forget to support each other and remember the trials we've been through to get where we are as writers!

The Screaming Guppy said...

Thanks guys. I was hoping this post wouldn't turn into a backlash. :)

Community is important, yo. I'm glad to be part of it.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I'm glad you're standing up for this. That kind of attitude saying their writing is junk is ridiculous! That's going to come back and bite them.