Ah, Facebook. The ultimate time waster. Nothing like watching the news stream float by, capturing glimpses of the all-too important moments in the lives of people you may never have met.
The other day, while scanning the feed for something interesting, I came upon an item I hoped would amuse me. Little did I know that it would have the opposite effect.
It was a picture of a boy sitting on the lap of a garishly made-up clown. The boy was crying hysterically; the clown was smiling. The poster called for captions. Expecting untold degrees of hilarity, I clicked the link to view the replies.
None were very funny, but one representing some literary journal leapt out of the page. It went something like: “Another ‘indie’ author trying to sell a book on Twitter”. A few people clicked the ‘Like’ button. If there was a “Dislike” button, I would have been all over it.
I don’t know what makes some traditionally-published authors look down upon independent authors. Is it literary snobbery? A feeling of accomplished superiority? Weren’t they struggling writers once as well, or were they offered publishing contracts at birth?
I’m writing this post not just because some goofball took a shot at indie authors. I’m writing it because I’ve seen it before, not only online but also in person. And as a proud self-published author, whose work has received praise from many readers and critics, I think it’s unfair to forget that we were all in the starting position at one time. It’s just that now more writers are empowered to showcase their work.
That doesn’t mean they’re less talented. They just haven’t gotten lucky. Yet.
For successful people to forget their roots is folly. And it’s a mistake I intend to avoid. I don’t want to be “that guy”, because “that guy” is ugly. And a jerk.
If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!
Richard Todd is an author, blogger, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.