Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Writing Wednesday: The Art & The Artist

At the end of March I got into a feud with a couple of (former) associates because one had given a third associate a bad review.  I don't like naming names, but you can find out all about it here.  Anyway, it was pretty pointless because you can't convince a jerk he's a jerk.  I mean people have been trying to convince me for 20 years and it still hasn't worked.

At one point the party in question said basically, "I only gave her book a bad review; it's not like I said anything bad about her."  Which I always think is a lame dodge.  This idea that the art and artist are somehow not one and the same strikes me as a copout so someone can justify being an asshole.  Again, I've probably done it myself a few times.

It's kind of sad when another writer says this, because he should know better.  If you've written a book then you know how long it takes--just ask Game of Thrones fans about that--and how much effort it requires.  It's not something you just toss off and forget about, not even when you've written as many books as I have.

All right, so it takes a lot of work to make a book.  And after all that work, who wants some jerk to come along and say, "That sucks?"  Especially when it's a jerk you know and whom you've been collaborating with for over a year.  Can you imagine if da Vinci finished the Mona Lisa and then some buddy of his walked by and said, "Boy that really sucks.  Why isn't she smiling more?"

But hey, don't take it personal because I'm just saying your work sucks, not you.  Like in The Godfather, it's nothing personal, just business.  Uh-huh, sure.  Where I come from, you're supposed to take pride in your work.  Even when your work is something fairly ridiculous like this:

I still took the time and effort to pull that story out of my brain and put it down on the screen and then send it out into the world.  Even if it's not my name on the cover, it's still my work.  Even if it's a ridiculous story, I still take writing it seriously.  So when someone says something bad about it, I get pissed off like they said something bad about me.  My books are a part of me; they're part of who I am.

But maybe you're a cold-blooded Vulcan or android or something and don't have emotions.  You can disagree in the comments, but be warned; I take blog writing seriously too.


  1. Criticism is always hard, but if I had a buddy and they had honest criticism I'd want to hear it. Otherwise, how can you make it better. But that's just me.

  2. I have a crit partners because I want to know if something isn't working or how it can be better. But that's different than getting a bad review posted to the public from a friend.



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