Thursday, April 4, 2013


It's no secret that I despise people who grovel.  It's okay to have admiration for others, but we all need to remember that the people on the receiving end of our admiration are people, just like us.  They drink coffee like we do, they fart like we do, and they have the same insecurities we do.  We like to imagine that those we look up to are stoic gods who have no flaws, but that's just not reality.

This advice applies not just to those looking to land an agent or publisher, but also to our fellow writers.  I say this because I recently had to overcome such fawning on another website when I dared have the gall to question two fairly well known indie writers.  What they were saying, in my opinion, was incorrect, and I said so.  I wasn't rude or dismissive about it, but I also didn't back off of my opinion either.
(Am I playing with fire?)
For daring challenge the opinion of these superstars, you'd have thought I was out setting puppies on fire.  Not only did several folks lash out at me for what I said, the two authors in question went insane.  One or two people tried to inject reasoned opinions into the debate, but most people started hurling epithets that would make a sailor blush.  And all because I didn't bow down before the awesome greatness of these two.

Maybe I'm just quirky, but if I think something you said is wrong, I'm going to say so, and it doesn't matter to me who you are.  Whether it be Stephen King, the Dali Lama, or Sheldon Cooper, if you're wrong, you're wrong.  A person's status doesn't mean anything to me when it comes to engaging them.

What this has taught me is that some people believe their own press.  It's one thing to be a good writer, but it's quite another to think your success somehow means your shit doesn't stink.  I will engage anyone in a spirited and respectful debate, so I always find it amusing when folks think they should never be challenged on an issue just because they've achieved a few accolades.

It also taught me another great lesson - stay humble.  When I do achieve success, I don't want to become one of "those people."  I want to remember that I can be wrong, and that I can always grow from the opinions of others.  If I ever get like the two I took on, I hope someone has the decency to take me out to the woodshed and beat some sense into me.  Maybe then I'll be reminded that I'm a person as flawed as any other, capable of great thoughts but just as easily able to engage with others.  I don't want to come across as a spoiled two year old who thinks his is the only opinion and that those who think otherwise are just big poopyheads.

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