Views From The Captain’s Chair! Episode Seven: Rant [REDACTED]
So, I had an entire post written Monday morning and ready to go. By Monday afternoon I’d deleted it. All of it. 1,200 words went bye bye.
Because I sounded like a douche. While the opinions may have been snarktacular, they were also just shitty. Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree with myself and believe the words I wrote, but they weren’t what I wanted to put out to the public.
Because my readers don’t all think like me. My colleagues don’t all think like me. Publishers don’t all think like me. The industry itself, whether trad or self, doesn’t think like me.
And I could be wrong.
That’s the big one there- I could be wrong.
I made a lot of mistakes early in my writing career by shooting my self-righteous mouth off. I know I alienated some folks; folks that I looked up to and aspired to be. Looking back I can see why those folks stopped reaching out ot me. They didn’t want to get douche on their hands.
This post is simply about taking some time and thinking before you post or blog or comment. Think whether or not your opinion actually adds something to the conversation or is just you mentally masturbating on Facebook. Also, think about what your opinion might mean to others. Will it hurt their feelings? Does it alienate them? Can it be looked back on as the reason why readers started giving you 1-star reviews?
The internet is a funny, irrational place, so treat it that way. You may feel justified, but I can guarantee that 800 others feel justified against you. You can’t win on the internet, you can only lose.
I have watched authors lately take up the pro/con argument for/against self-publishing. Nine times out of ten they sound like whiny putzes. Not all, mind you, just nine out of the ten. And I am counting both sides of the argument. Rare is the clear, fair voice that realizes something every professional writer should already know.
What’s that, you ask? What should every professional writer know?
That opinions are like assholes and you can’t bleach the stink away. Or everyone has got one. Pick an asshole metaphor and go with it.
Professional writers should also know that there is no one path and that there is no one answer. Hell, there aren’t even 100 paths or answers. The number is infinite, those paths and answers. Each writer is completely different, so arguing what works and what doesn’t only applies to one person. That’s it. One person.
That’s why I deleted my asshole, I mean, my opinion. It was jerky, snob-shite. Again, I believe every word, but it’s best left in my head. You don’t need to hear it.
And before you go all, “Burn the witch!” on me and shit, please know I’m not saying writers shouldn’t contribute opinions. Just make them productive, not destructive. Add to the profession, don’t detract from it. Contribute.
And, for the love of God, keep the one-eyed bleach monster in your jeggings, will ya? There are plenty of bleached assholes out there yammering away. I don’t need to be one of them. And you don’t either. Keep that thing in your pants. Trust me. Everyone will thank you for that.
Disclaimer: Views From The Captain’s Chair are just that: views. These are not laws. These are not set in stone. I could be totally wrong. I could be off my rocker (shut up). I could be full of S-H-I-T. I could change my mind next week. All of that is possible. Who knows? But if even just a little of this helps you then I’m happy with that. If it just makes you stop and think then I’ve done my job. Which I really need to get back to. Blogging don’t pay for the bourbon! Oh, and the whole Captain’s Chair thing? Yeah, I write in a captain’s chair. It’s true, Mateys! Got a question? Need some one on one? Shoot me an email, a DM, a PM (no BMs) or comment below.
Jake Bible lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two kids.
A professional writer since 2009, Jake has a proven record of innovation, invention and creativity. Novelist, short story writer, independent screenwriter, podcaster, and inventor of the Drabble Novel, Jake is able to switch between or mash-up genres with ease to create new and exciting storyscapes that have captivated and built an audience of thousands.
Posted on February 19, 2014, in Views From The Captain's Chair! and tagged bible, fiction, future, genre, indie publishing, jake, Jake Bible, novel, publishing, science fiction, scifi, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.