Monday, July 18, 2011

Aspiring authors are such compliment junkies


A few weeks ago I got into a feud with an novice author on one of the message boards I frequent. We sent private messages back and forth arguing over POV slips. Tempers flared and there was cussing involved. It was fun. I enjoy that sort of thing. Each of us though we were right. The argument ended with the "We'll have to agree to disagree" thing, mortal enemies parted by time and space and philosophy.

Over the weekend, I complimented something he wrote because I liked a play on words he used. Lo and behold, I have a new friend.

We're like dogs, especially the aspiring authors who are still so full of those insecurities. Throw us a compliment, and it's like tossing a dog a treat. You turn someone who seconds ago was biting at your calf into a friend for life who'll follow you around, looking for another.

I think sometimes that, had Charlie Manson complimented young writers who were covering his case, he would eventually have had a horde of authors following him around and claiming what a great guy he really is, looking for Charlie to throw them just one more compliment.

1 comment:

  1. The compliment thing is a double edged sword I reckon. Praise too much and you create the monstrous lines of people who think they can be America - or Britain's - next pop idol. Did parents tell their kids they could sing? That they were multi-talented?? Did friends assure them that they had the best voice ever? Praise does create a - can do - attitude - which is better than - what's the point trying - but too much praise and expectations are raised beyond sensible limits. Guess what - I had a mother for whom nothing was ever good enough. I have NO chance!

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