Thursday, February 23, 2017

Keep posting your nonsense, authors

By Steve Weddle

So a couple weeks back, Gabino Iglesias, who wrote one of my favorite books of the 2015, wrote a post for LitReactor about author updates on Facebook.

The post, "9 Facebook Posts by Authors We Don't Need to See in 2017," is worth your time and comments, of course. I'm opposed to someone online telling me what I should and shouldn't post, natch. Don't tell me what I can't post. You're not my real mom.

The world is an ugly place, and these posts are not helping anyone.

Sure. I've seen silly posts on Facebook and Twitter and Snapgrab and elsewhere. And I've seen authors going on and on about their writing habits. They'll tell you that they wrote 1,500 words that morning, had a great call with an editor, or enjoyed a phone interview with a podcaster. Many writers enjoy posting about the "authoring" aspect of writing. I don't have a problem with that.

I do appreciate Mr. Iglesias's points, though, even if he is a little harsh.

You're a writer and you wrote some words, so what?

In his LitReactor post, he argues against a number of posts, including:

  • Vaguebooking 
  • Fake blurbs 
  • Complaining about editing 
  • Play-by-play updates

Like I said, I appreciate that some folks don't care for these author posts. I don't mind them. Here's why.

When I see an author complaining about the editing process, I am happy, at least for a few moments. My energy each day is derived from a careful mixture of bold coffee and bitter schadenfreude. I enjoy seeing other authors in pain. It makes my own pain more bearable. Please, post that you have spent all weekend editing your 80,000-word manuscript. That's great. You probably had to spend all that time editing because your writing stinks. Maybe you write too fast. Maybe you should outline more. Heck, maybe the writing life isn't for you.

And posting fake blurbs? Yeah, I've seen authors posting anonymous reviews of their books or manuscripts telling their friends/fans that "a hero of mine" has just "raved" about the new book. That is great. Please post that. The rest of us see your post and know what you're doing, and we're emailing back and forth about you and laughing our asses off. This is great. It makes me so happy to see that. Please, keep trying to prop yourself up with nonsense. That's wonderful.

Sharing play-by-play updates about each scene that you wrote or that you just wrote some "killer" dialog in your murder mystery? That's great. Keep doing that. If I enjoy what you're posting, then I won't have to read it. It will be like when I read a good review of a book. I usually don't have to go out and read the book itself. If' I've read a thorough, 3,000-word review of your new novel, why would I want to read your novel? The paper/magazine loved it and explained why. That's cool. I feel like I've read it and can now fake my way through a discussion of it at a conference or on a panel or if I ever have to be near you at an event. Same with your posting about a scene you've just written. If I like it, great. And if I read it and I think it's dumb, then I won't have to read your book, either. You're saving me time and money. I appreciate that, champ.

Authors should post whatever they want. If it's dumb, I'll be happy for many reasons. If it's great, I'll be happy for other reasons. The key to having many, many author friends is to be positive and optimistic, the way I am. Cheers.


Holly West said...

I think Sam Belacqua might've ghost written this post.

Danny Gardner said...

Man, oh man, does you and Gabino's good cop/bad cop routine need work. Haaaaaa!