I’m probably going to regret saying this out loud but I can’t be silent.
Okay, I’m not an oldbie by any stretch. I’m still a relative newbie but I’ve done this a while and on top of that, I get agitated easily and in the last months, there are several things that have worked my last nerve to the point of being frayed. Some of the stuff I’ve seen of late online makes me want to shake my finger and tell those teenaged boys who live across the street to pull up their damned pants I’m so disgusted in general. This isn’t so much advice -because hey, who am I to give advice – as it is several observations:
1. PLEASE for the love of the sweet baby Jesus on his pogo stick can you stop talking about how special your writing is compared to other authors? I know, you’re a storyteller, not a story weaver. We all pale in comparison to your deep POV and whatever else this brand of writer likes to constantly tell the rest of us about your craft. WE GET IT. Now can you shut up?
2. If you plan to talk shit about other authors when you’re wowing your groupies with your fabulous writing prowess, it’s a good idea to say it on the phone, via IM or to lock down your loop so no one can find your stuff.
3. I’m going to revisit 1 and 2 here for a moment because I cannot believe the fucking insane level of hubris it takes for an author, any other author beside Neil Gaiman or William Gibson to get online and talk shit about other authors and tell everyone how great they are. Do other some authors get on my ever loving last nerve? TOO RIGHT THEY DO! But I cannot imagine getting online or talking to other people about how great I am in comparison to everyone else. I don’t know, maybe it’s a failing of mine. It’s just grotesque. In that vein, attacking rivals and attempting to spread scandal is unprofessional to the extreme and it also creates fallout for everyone involved in even an auxillary way.
4. Please, please, please take your shit and deal with people face to face or offloop. Squabbling makes everyone look bad and I DON’T WANT TO KNOW. I don’t. It’s not my business if author A doesn’t like author B or if publisher A doesn’t like publisher B and it shouldn’t be made my business, and it REALLY shouldn’t be made the business of readers. We seem to be forgetting who is watching. Readers don’t deserve to be dragged through this insanity. They deserve good reads.
We are authors. We exist in public and the things we say will get leaked. Just because you’re having a bad day, or are bored, or your mom is sick or you got a bad review or your boyfriend left his beard hairs in the sink or damned cat sharpened her claws on your favorite pair of Doc Martens loafers – it’s no excuse. All this tantruming, all this negative smack about other authors, all this oversharing and blaming bad behavior on everything else reflects on our community as a whole.
Why the hell do we do this to each other? There are people in this community I don’t like. Yep. But look, if *I* can have filters, anyone can. I’m not saying we have to group hug or anything. I’m not saying we all have to be nice to each other. I’m saying can you please stop making me look like an asshole because you can’t keep your bragging about your special snowflake writing to your friends via IM like everyone else?
Dignity costs nothing. It really doesn’t. Graciousness and composure are sometimes more difficult but still, they’ll almost always serve you well, even when you’re a big mouthed bitch like me.