Thursday, August 22, 2013

How Was Your Day, Honey?



My day was good.

I got a 5-star review. I helped an author with her manuscript. I made a best-seller list. I thought of a cool new story idea. I got a fan letter. I won a contest.

I wrote.


How was your day, honey?

Some guy came into the ER and was bleeding out.

I saved his life.

✢✢✢


My husband's job keeps all of my professional worries in perspective every day.

My heart attack--that almost killed me in 2010--keeps all of my daily worries in perspective.


✢✢✢


It seems to me that too many people in our industry have an extremely inflated sense of self.

At the end of the day, our business is still entertainment.

Is it valuable, is it special? Yes.

Is it worth losing our humanity for? No.

Do we threaten authors with violence, rape and torture? Do we bully bloggers and reviewers? Do we threaten their families? Do we think that Goodreads is the center of the universe? Believe it or not, many people, including people who read books, have never heard of Goodreads.

They have no idea what it is.

This bubble that we have created in the publishing industry is fascinating. It gives us a false sense of importance. It gives us a false sense of power. We write books, we read books, we review books. It is just one tiny part of all the things people do on this earth. We are no better or worse than others, and we have no right to threaten others all in the NAME OF A BOOK, or an OPINION OF A BOOK.

I would recommend that everyone needs to get an enormous sense of humor, but I think we are way past that.

For every act I see that makes me proud to be part of this industry--authors reaching out to each other, reviewers supporting each other, acts of kindness and thoughtfulness--I see other things that make me ashamed to be a part of this bubble.

Outrage over every incident doesn't help.

Somehow we need to regain our humanity, our civility, our perspective. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But when we think that our opinion entitles us to threaten others, we have completely lost perspective in this world.

It's just a book.

How was your day, honey?

My day was good.


Penny

17 comments:

anny cook said...

Absolutely. The moment we obsess about ANYTHING to the detriment of those around us, we've rolled off the tracks. We're small cogs in the machinery of life. Excellent post!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Whoa. Yah. I can imagine. Great post.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

And good final point.

barbara wallace said...

I was just thinking yesterday that I can't remember when I last logged onto FB and didn't think it looked like a list of book ads (with political commentary and puppies mixed in). Twitter too. This is such an excellent post - used to be we obsessed about selling; now we obsess about promoting and hitting lists. Both mindsets forget there are far more important issues to pay attention to than our books.

And I can say this because I am as guilty as the next at doing it.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

This was brilliant. I'm going to go have a cup of tea and write now. Thank you.

Julia Barrett said...

Thank god somebody said it! You got balls, girl! I'm so proud of you!

little alys said...

It seems to me that too many people in our industry have an extremely inflated sense of self
Yes, just yes. This. Everywhere.

Tasha Brandstatter said...

Definitely. I'm very passionate about books, but humility is important, too.

Penelope said...

Hi Anny...I agree. I like folks who don't take themselves too seriously and keep things in perspective.

Penelope said...

Thank you, Juju!

Penelope said...

Barbara...I don't think you are guilty of that at all. Some folks use social media as a billboard instead of using it for any sort of social interaction. You are always personal and gracious and REAL. I totally appreciate that!

Penelope said...

Thank you, Tiffinie! Hope you have a good writing day!

Penelope said...

Julia...our regular conversation, right? Bumper sticker: BIG BALLS AND PROUD OF IT! Hee hee!

Penelope said...

Hi little alys...It drives me crazy. Some are just irritating, and some are scary. Ugh.

Penelope said...

Tasha...being passionate is good. Being psycho is bad. I consider threatening people with horrible acts crossing a line into psycho territory.

Steph from fangswandsandfairydust.com said...

Wise and powerful.

Penelope said...

Thank you, Steph!