Well, we all talk about “writer’s platforms” and such-like, amassing “followers” and utilizing social media in order to tell people about us and what we do. Ultimately, however, the goal is to sell our product, whether it is fiction, non-fiction, print, electronic…well, you get the idea. Not saying that’s the main motivation or the only motivation, but let’s be honest here — we all want to make a living from what we love to do. There’s no shame in that, no blame in the game.
But what I do want to talk about is sometimes when we set ourselves up as “experts” or “gurus” (I know, I hate that word too) sometimes we forget we’re just like everyone else out there — trying to wrangle a living and we don’t know everything. I read a lot of blogs, and I’ve seen people become so impressed with themselves they can’t take constructive criticism, they get very defensive when someone disagrees with their viewpoint, instead of embracing the concept of intelligent discourse. Instead of keeping an open mind and taking a step back, right away it’s a flame war, sometimes subtle and sometimes right in the face. It distresses me, and those blogs are ones I do not return to read. Who needs that crap?
Words are so powerful. I think as writers working with them every day, we lose sight of that fact. We lose sight of the fact these are not merely words on a page, but there are people behind those words. People with feelings, people who have opinions that are valid, people who are different with different viewpoints that deserve to be heard. If all you want are people who agree with every pearl of wisdom that drops from your lips, more power to you, but you’re missing out. And you’ve lost a reader, because I was never one to refrain from speaking my mind if the situation warrants. However, I have learned to walk away and not to sow pearls before swine, so-to-speak.
It has been 202 years since the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, bless his twisted and demented heart. Unfortunately, the “toaster” who has for the last 60 years left roses and cognac on the grave, has been absent for the second year in a row. I suppose one could speculate about the reason for the absence — which sounds like a good prompt for a story. Hmmm.
And just because I think we all need a reminder (and it applies to everyone, not just “Big Girls”):