that's me - Stephanie Boman!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's put away the hair shirts

Bad stuffs flying around the writing corner of the interwebs lately. Lots of people have come away from it with different lessons, thoughts. Here's mine:

Just because it seems like we are at the mercy of agents does not make them gods. I was really irked by comments made on the recent hoo-haw by a writer who said, "You may not want to accept it, but we writers can certainly be an entitled bunch of jackasses at times. And when we are, we deserve to be called to account for it."

Now it most certainly is true that some writers act idiotically at times. It may even be true that some need to be put in their place (NEVER in a public forum, though, IMO), but what got me is this "we're not worthy" attitude. A need to self-flagellate.

I've seen it before, usually in blogs where agents complain about queries or emails or interactions with writers who don't know what they're doing (and let me just say I'm glad my agent doesn't have or make time to play around on blogs and twitter all day). Other writer's (maybe because they're glad they're not the ones getting spanked) love to hoot and holler about how clueless the offending writer is. I see comments where writers actually apologize to the agents for having to deal with the ill-bred members of their kin. It is a sad reality that agents have to deal with less then mature individuals in this age of the internet, but by now they should know that it comes with the job.

There are many stellar agents out there to admire. Some I can even see becoming a fan of for their knowledge and wit. But falling on the ground in obeisance only makes writers look like it's okay to step on them.

Part of the problem is saying "we writers". Writers are not one entity in reality. Everybody is responsible for their own actions, because we are humans, some who happen to be writers. So don't pull out the wet noodle and offer to lash your self every time some human, who happens to be a writer, makes a mistake. How can you ever expect respect if you act like you don't deserve it?

I am not saying all agents disrespect authors, far from it. But why kowtow to the ones who enjoy ridiculing the clueless? To curry favor? It's like, "look at me mommy, I'm not being bad!" Childish.

If you want to be treated with respect, act like it by taking responsibly for your own actions and leaving the universe to mete out whatever other humans have coming to them.


Candyland said...

I couldn't have said it any better:)

Matthew Rush said...

Negativity in general is such a waste of energy. I try to make sure the only person I ever ridicule online is myself. It's much more fun and entertaining for everyone!

Thanks for sharing though Steph and reminding us that we're all people.

Lydia Kang said...

I agree. It's one thing to help a writer that may be doing something wrong, but to ridicule them is so junior high. I'm over it.

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