Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why yes--I "like" my foot in my mouth. The perils of backstory in real life

Do you have have that feeling like--oh, you're so passionate about something that it runs out of your mouth like uncontrollable word diarrhea when people trigger your hot button? And then it's too late because, yeah, there's a quote function and you can't edit other people's posts? *sigh* I do that all the time although I try not to.

I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who tells me the things I say aren't all that horrible and people will get on with their lives, regardless of whether I share my opinion, but...it's all a matter of backstory. Mine, theirs, other peoples.

I post things because some thing in my backstory drove me to react to something another person said (God, I hope politely and eloquently) and they react because of something in their backstory (which lead to the first comment) which is making them react to "my" comment, and it goes around in circles, with every poster reacting to our reactions depending on their particular backstory.

Decades ago, back in the days when I used to be a bookseller I remember talking to this famous regency writer, you know--picking their brain because I really wanted to be a writer back in the days when word processors were standard equipment, and I said, "Who are your favorite writers?" and she said, "I don't have any. I don't read."

And I was like--what?? And she went on to tell me she was a writer, she'd stopped reading years ago because she just didn't have the time. Looking back on it, I remember going through a period where I couldn't read because my internal editor wouldn't stop dissecting plots and stuff, but there's nothing I like more than falling into a book so good it makes me stop everything. The great thing (and the bad thing) about kindle is that I can buy a series one after the other until I'm done, and over the last few months, I've done that three times. I'm also fortunate that reading helps with my job, since I need to stay on top of trends and styles, but I'd do it regardless. I could tell at a glance which posters still read, which ones don't and which ones still have that 360 view even though the whole thread wasn't about whether you were a reader.

At my very first RWA conference, I had the displeasure of meeting one of my favorite writers. "Wow!" I said, going up to her (because I really wanted to tell her how much I enjoyed her books) "----! OMG, I LOVE your books!" I was totally fangirling her, and she said, "There, there (I kid you not! That's "exactly" what she said), don't worry. One day you too can be just like me." She patted her bouffant hair, straightened her jewelry and walked right around me, and when I got home--I threw out her books.

All she had to do was say "Thank you." Thank you for being a reader, thank you for being a fan. Thank you for being the reason I have all this heavy gold jewelry and can sit around at conferences telling other people how to write. I hope I am never like her.

1 comment:

Tualha said...

Amen!