Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sometimes It Is Best To Keep Your Mouth Shut

I think I am finally getting smart in my old age. I really hate making a statement like that because it makes me sound like my grandfather, but it is true. I am learning. It took me a while, but I am making progress.

I had written a blog last night that was schedule to come online this morning. I knew what I wanted to say and I really think the idea was right on the money. But, the more I thought about it, the more I contemplated what I was saying, I knew it was not going to work.

No, I was not personally slamming anyone. I keep those comments to myself. But the things I did say in that blog could have really been taken multiple ways and some of those would have been wrong. So, it was deleted.

There were comments yesterday on Twitter (and the day before I believe) discussing whether or not someone would quit reading an author's works if that author went out and said something that the reader didn't like. It is true. I know I am one of those people that have made that decision. Heck, I will even go so far to say that if those writers were to ever approach me for representation of a 10 figure deal, I would turn them down. Of course I know they would never do that, but you can understand my point of view.

I remember an professional in the business (no I will not say editor or agent) that I met when I first started the agent. I really liked the quality of the work this person was responsible for, but, I started to lose that respect when I found that person had simply no edit function. Regardless of how good this person was with the business, it made it hard to respect the work.

This is not simply an issue about your public image on the internet, it is about the big picture. Sitting at a coffee shop talking with friends, speaking at a conference, writing on a blog, or even working in an office requires the highest amount of personal editing. Although I love that line from Pirates of the Caribbean "You're all thinking it, I'm just saying it" this is simply not a good model to follow.

Look, I understand the publishing industry is going through some growing pains right now, but if we want to see this business succeed, then maybe we better just shut our mouths, focus on what is important and get working.

For me, that blog that went away was a great chance for me to release a few feelings, but it was also a chance for me to grow, just a bit more.

On schedule for this weekend at Greyhaus? Horse show! Answer emails! And yes, hang out with the family for once.



  1. I think I'm getting addicted to your blog. (That sounded weird...)

    Simply because people don't tell it like it is anymore. Keep up the good work here.

    I read a quote that might apply here. It worked for me;

    "By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong."

    -Charles Wadsworth

  2. I've had something like what you describe about an author doing something happen to me. A plagiarism lawsuit had just been settled in the news. I posted in my blog a note that it had been settled and a link. Nothing particularly special.

    The author who lost the lawsuit--and he was a published author--must have been searching for blogs reporting on the news. He posted what looked like a lengthy canned response in my blog comments about how he was wronged. That was enough for me to look at his website, which was pretty much an unprofessional rant fest.

    Guess what? I had just gotten one of his books from the library and was on chapter one. The news of the lawsuit had made me want to read the book, but his attitude on the web made me stop.