Ok, I put this post under the category “douchebaggery”. Unfortunately, that douchebaggery applies to me this time.
On Friday evening, I got into a bit of an argument over on the Kindleboards. The argument centered around whether a successful indie author who’s had publishers coming to her should get an agent or not. My thesis is no: there’s no need. The publishers are already coming to her. She can compute her expected future cash flow if she stays as an indie. The publishers need to give her at least that much money, or it’s not worth it for her to sign with them. So what the hell can an agent do that’s of any value?
I don’t consider that thesis to be douchebaggery. The douchebaggery came in when someone posted that my advice to say “screw the agents”, go to Laura Resnick’s list of good IP lawyers, select one, and use that guy/gal to help negotiate the deal was the worst advice ever.
I was feeling a little punchy from screwy sleep patterns during the week (my 2 year old has taken up the habit of waking up at 2 am screaming, and not going back to sleep until 4-ish. Ugh.) and from several glasses of wine. So I responded a bit..aggressively. And verbosely.
Another poster called me on it. She started off by explaining why she disagreed with me, but concluded that I must be a sexist because I responded so aggressively to a female poster, and there’s no way I would respond the same way to a man.
Well that REALLY set me off. If you want to A) Piss me off to no end and B) Prevent me from taking you and your reasoning seriously, the best way to do so would be to accuse someone of sexism or racism when the topic of conversation has nothing to do with either. Or even if it does. Because wake up, people. It ain’t the 1860s any more. It ain’t even the 1950s any more. In this day and age, just about no one cares what anyone else’s skin pigmentation is (except to be jealous that some have to worry about sunburn less than others), except for professional racists (Sharpton, Jackson, David Duke, the NAACP, the KKK, and others of the same ilk). And the only interest most people have in what gender another person happens to belong to is if they’d like to get a date from said person. So really, that whole racism/sexism thing: totally over, unless you’re someone who’s trying to profit from it. Get with the modern world.
So I fired back. Swiftly and meanly. Then I wrote a (very lengthy) blog post about what happened.
Then I left to do family stuff for a bit, and to cool down. But I returned later to find the second poster correctly calling me out for not even bothering to address the substance of her comments. I apologized and did so, and she graciously accepted the apology. I think we departed as friends, or as close to friends as two people who have never met before and only interacted once with on the internet can be.
But I didn’t stay up to see if there was any other fallout from my comments. Truth to tell, I haven’t been back to the Kindleboards since. Yesterday (Saturday), I woke up at 3:30 am, partly from expectation of hearing my son screaming and partly from angst over what had just happened. He didn’t wake up (wonder of wonders), but I was still unable to get back to sleep until about 4 or 4:15, from replaying the whole incident in my head.
I was bloody tired all day Saturday. But beyond that, I was cranky. I was cranky because I was stewing over what happened, and how I’d been a total ass. I re-read the blog post and took it down, realizing that post wasn’t going to do anyone any good for anything.
Now I normally don’t dwell on things very much. I’m not mister emo-man. But it’s important to me that I act professionally, and I don’t think I did on Friday night.
So I think I’m going to post an apology to all on the kindleboards and then cool it there for a bit. In all honesty, I’ve spent more time on there lately than I should be. It’s eaten a lot of time that I should be using to write.
So I think I’m going to cut back. Not just there, but on the web and blogs in general, with a few specific exceptions. I’m just going to write, edit, publish, then repeat for a while. In other words, I’m going to concentrate on the important parts of this writing gig, and leave the trivial for later.