I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little addicted to snippets of advice from other authors. I love to hear them talk about their processes, they’re own literary journey, and so on. Some of it I find useful, the rest, even I don’t find it useful, it’s still interesting information to me. Inspirational and motivating I guess you could say. Recently, one of my writer peeps posted a link to an article on our writer’s group Facebook page. You can check it out here: http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2015/02/24/stephen-king-everything-you-need-to-know-about-writing-successfully/
There was some really great advice in it. The only problem was that it was Stephen King that was giving the advice. First, let me say that I do truly respect what Stephen King has done and I do consider him a master of the craft. Honestly, any bit of writing advice the man dishes out should be treated as gold. However, that is from a professional standpoint.
I commented on the post, saying that the advice was great and that things like that made me want to like him as a person. I was then asked how I could not like him. So let me explain how I could not like him. I never had a problem with him until he began bashing other authors. And no, it wasn’t just constructive criticism, it was straight up bashing. To the point that one might think he’d been sipping on the Haterade. Two of his victims? Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins. Both young adult authors. Both now very, very rich. He’s achieved great successes on his own, so why he would feel the need to begin bashing other authors I’ll never understand. So he doesn’t like the stories they’ve told. So he feels their writing is atrocious. The fact of the matter is, millions of people read and enjoyed their books so much so that they were made into movies, no, franchises, and these two ladies are now insanely rich. I’d like to think that, despite the criticism, they’re still laughing all the way to the bank. But I know the words probably still sting.
My issue is this. Authors already have it hard enough as it becomes harder and harder to break into traditional publishing. Thank the Gods for self-publishing. Instead of ripping each other’s work apart, we should be doing our best to help each other become better writers. Not only to become better writer’s, but encourage each other. I for one do anything I can to help other emerging authors. Be it giving their work a read and offering my own advice, or helping them find places to submit their work. I’ve even gone to classrooms and spoke to children about writing and how wonderful it can be. Good grief, my current day job is helping college students become better academic writers! While I don’t have as much to offer as say, Stephen King himself, I still do all I can to help other writers or would be writers.
An author that exemplifies this behavior is Anne Rice. She does all of this for other authors and more. First, she basically spear-headed a campaign to encourage Amazon to change the book review process as she saw a progressing problem of author bullying. People would leave horrible, uneducated reviews that weren’t really reviews of the books themselves, but the author being bashed. Second, she has gone to bat for E.L. James against the critics and released several open letters defending her and her work. Anne Rice is truly a class act and the epitome of what an author should be.
Truthfully, the behaviors I’ve described above don’t have to apply only to writers. This should apply to everyone, no matter who you are or what line of work you do. Help each other. Care about each other. I promise you won’t be sorry.