Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Swim with the Sharks

This writing / computer publishing business was made for me. There are  many reasons for this, and I'm going to list a few here:

1. Don't have to wear nylons
2. Don't have to wear a suit
3. Don't have to wear high heels

Another facet of online publishing that is perfect for me is the lovely, gorgeous niceness of the online writing community. I'm so bad at being mean; I'd make a terrible cutthroat executive. Now, I'm not saying that all executives are mean or cutthroat. But my experience in the world of finance and business ( I watched a season of The Apprentice) tells me that having that tough edge in the business world is an admirable  quality. Being able to "go after  someone" is a good thing.

See, that's just not me.

When I'm flying high on Twitter and Facebook, though, meeting new authors and editors, I try to fit right in with the general sense of decency and camaraderie that prevails. There is a pretty famous thread that was being passed around a few weeks ago in which an Indie author had a meltdown on a blog because of a decent review she received.  The author objected to the few suggestions that the reviewer gave her, and she had a serious poo fit online. She ended up getting blacklisted by a chunk of other authors, editors, and potential readers.

Now, that shows that it's not all peace, love, and Bobby Sherman out there. Sometimes editors and writers have to give bad reviews, probably the most difficult job we have. In fact, I just got a tough review from an author that I really respect. He was hard on my book, but he did it in a respectful way that let me know he read the entire work.

I respect that guy more than ever now. It's easy to write a glowing review - it's much harder to read the whole novel and give specific recommendations. Furthermore, I know that he gave me that review in order to support me, and because he expects more from me. Which is a huge compliment. Thanks - you! You know who you are! 

Which brings me to my last point. I don't think we need to be cutthroats out there to each other, because we have (or we should have) a constant critic within ourselves. My friend who reviewed me told me that we should always be aiming for the very best we can do with each finished book, and with the next book we should strive to be even better.

I like that. That I can do.


Kara said...

Does this mean you're not mad at me, either? They are hatching the plan to rescue Mana now, btw, and I plan to put zazzle aside tonight and let them do it! ;)

LW said...

It's a really fine thing that you can accept criticism constructively, and grow because of it. I'm still working on that, myself!

It's also a fine thing not to have to dress as a "suit" ongoing. :)

Alison DeLuca said...

Hello, ladies! Never mad at you Kara, not matter what you say to me sweetie, darling, and hurray for no suits!

Kara said...

And no pantyhose! That's a biggie! I think I haven't worn any in about a dozen years. They need to be outlawed.

west_2552 said...

I can't remember the last time I wore nylons. Or heels. Ugh!!

I'm glad your "bad" review turned out to be a good thing for you. It can be very difficult to know how to be honest with someone-- to find the right words to criticize in a constructing manner. It's a gift to be able to do so gracefully and at the same time to tell a person that he or she has the potential to do an even greater job with the next attempt. Yes, I think that we can all try to be a little kinder to each other. What ever happened to the Golden Rule??

Joana said...

It's my dream to sit around in cute little pink pajamas all day, staring at my computer and maybe actually writing when my editor hounds me (I aspire to greatness like that).

It would be nice if the entire online writing community could be as nice as most of the people I've met. Or as helpful.

Krista McLaughlin said...

No one will catch me dead in a suit, whether a pants suit made for women or a dressy skirt suit. Yuk!

I think it's a wonderful goal to strive to make each book we write even better. It's something I can do too! :)

Alison DeLuca said...

Cute little pink pajamas would be lovely! My sister has a fridge magnet that says: "They were wrong - hard work CAN kill you."

Sunny said...

Oh God, nylons! Ugh!

Meanness is never necessary. Glad to know there is one more kind, nylon free writer out there! Congrats on the good review : )

Claire Chilton said...

I can't walk in heels, at some point I always end up going barefoot and carrying the dreaded shoes of pain in my hands instead.

People give me funny looks, but I know they're giggling on the inside as I skip by barefoot from paving slab to paving slab in a suit built for someone far more serious than I, chanting a mantra of "oww pebble, eww puddle"