All busy going somewhere

I had no idea my post yesterday was going to cause such a stir.  And though I’d love to answer you all personally, I’m a bit overwhelmed.  It was intended to be a simple snark about needing to be careful before you open your mouth if all you’re doing is trying to make yourself look good, but somehow was perceived by many as me being upset about people picking at my work.

People have picked at my work long before I got published, and a faceless gripe about typos is nothing compared to the cutting remarks and pointed observations made in the past in the name of writer groups and well-meaning first readers—remarks and observations that (were they right or wrong) were necessary to grow a thick skin, and I’m thankful for them, even if they hurt at the time.  I can usually take a good amount of criticism before I start griping at Guy, but going after my editor after the week I had sort of pushed me over the edge.  (Say what you will about me, but don’t you talk trash about my momma, my kids, my dogs, or apparently, my editor.  laugh  Guy would be on the list, too, but I think he likes the abuse.)

I did, however, come away with one observation from reading all your posts, be they positive or negative.  We’re all busy going somewhere with our accumulated baggage, filtering the world , coloring our views, pushing our buttons.  Maybe I should leave some of mine at the curb.  I think it’s slowing me down.

48 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

48 responses to “All busy going somewhere

  1. Jenn

    I think we all have some baggage, but sometimes we don’t even know it’s there until someone drops it on our feet!
    I hope you had a great, relaxing weekend with the family!
    I made 12 dozen peanut butter cookies yesterday!
    Oh, btw, it’s -13C or -9F this morning! Brrrr

  2. tara

    I absolutly love your books…..If there were any typos I never noticed….I read to relax and enjoy a great story and you definitly deliver!!! Can’t wait for the next one in Feb!

    Tara

  3. Marguerite

    Dear Kim,
    It is so easy to be snarky during the holidays. There is constant input from everywhere saying “this is the most wonderful time of the year,” when in truth it is often the most stressful time of the year, or even the saddest time for others. We are supposed to put on a happy face for everyone, when sometimes we want to cry.
    Handle the stresses the best you can, let go of what you can’t change, and remember the good things.

  4. Theresa

    Hi Ms. Harrison
    I’m sorry that people can be such jerks.=[ You are awesome for being able to handle that kind of rudeness, if it were me I’d be crying. So now I thank you for not giving up.
    From, Theresa:D

  5. Tina

    Dear Kim,
    I hope that you and your editor(if you shared these two entries with your editor) are feeling better about Things. Don’t worry too much about your ranting poster: he/she may have had a bad day–not that putting his/her rage on to someone else is the best way to do it. If that is the case, he/she may well have regretted what was written almost immediately after having clicked “Post Comment.”
    If I have a rant about something, I think carefully before putting it either on paper or online. The old adage “Measure twice, cut once” works for writing as well: think twice, write once.
    If I know something will hurt someone else, I’d just as soon just post in my own journal(on paper) for my own eyes only to see, rather than putting it ‘out there’ and making someone cry or get angry. Life is too short and too precious to waste on hurtful actions.
    That’s my take on things.
    Have a lovely holiday, keep smiling, and enjoy each day as it comes…by the way, everyone, wear warm clothes as of Sunday! There is going to be a huge cold snap coming. Check on your older neighbors, too!
    Peace,
    Tina

  6. Angie E.

    Hello Miss Harrison,this is my first time posting,and first off I want to say HI!..and that I love love love your books,and I am gonna try to come get 1 sighned at your book sighing in KY in Feburary!…with that being said….
    Ahh Phoey on the ones that just don’t get that everyone makes mistakes when they are in the “zone” when writting something out and makes errors all over..I myself think it is what makes us human,and more loved..If everything was spelled right,we all would be computers!!

  7. Coyote in a box

    and if you left some at the curb it would only take a three cabs to get you to the airport *laughs* snarkiness for snarkiness’ sake. hope your mood improves though

    • Coyote! If this is who I think it is, you have pushed my mood back to the top! -grin- Nice to see you in my sandbox.

      Travel light, leave only footprints. (little ones . . .)

  8. Fred

    Hi Kim,
    I just got your books and thank you for the thoughtful thoughts in each book.
    I am very big in Wicca and my family has destroyed me in every way as I have Fibromyalgia from all the emotional stress and my mother who has a lot of money is trying to get me to go financially broke all because my family does not believe that men can now get this very painful disease Fibromyalgia.

    Are there any spells to send back all the negative thoughts back to those family members that are sending them to me?

    Thank you,
    Fred

    • JanisHarrison

      Fred, darlin’, I don’t know where you are located or what your age is, but if you are an adult and you have had a diagnosis from experts, you can stand apart from your mother/family. and get on with your life. Find a support group and learn to manage your condition (I know it changes and nobody’s got the same package of problems).

    • Hi Fred. I hear what you’re saying, and you’re in a hard place. I like Janis’s suggestion of finding like-minded people to find ways to cope and heal.

  9. *grin* Accumulated baggage slows you down. That’s why you are such a good writer. Those simple words were able to create an image of a little redhead piled high with bags. I wish I could pitch some of my extra baggage to the curb as well. Have a great weekend with your family.

  10. Rebecca

    Kim,
    Your rant yesterday was well thought and well stated. I don’t quite understand how anyone that had read it (and has read past blog posts by you) could EVER mistake your defense of your editor as you being upset that someone had picked at your writing. You’re an author, with multiple published books behind you. Were you sensitive to people picking at your writing, I doubt you’d have even given a blink to actually attempting to publish. (I have a friend working on finally getting his book picked up by a publisher, and he’s got multiple short stories published in mags… I know what a skin it takes to go through that process now.) That being said, thank you for reviving what I consider to be one of the best words in the English language: snarky!

  11. missy

    Well,she *might* be a witch ….
    ~_^

  12. Candace

    Oh man, I wish I had read your posts earlier this week! I’m a psychology major and I could have given you some empirical studies to back up your arguments and prove to that reader that it doesn’t matter who is doing the copy editing, they are going to miss something I guarantee it. This isn’t only for copy editors either.

    Simple example: How many times does the letter F appear in the following sentence? “Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of many years.” If you came up with any number less than 6, try again. Most people don’t count the F in the word “of,” which appears 3x in that sentence.

    I think people often times forget that people in the literary industry are not super human and so readers and the general consumers expect a higher degree of error detection even though everyone more or less performs equally (there is some variety, but i’m not gonna get into the whole cognitive psychology aspect of it right now)

    And my personal opinion…it is okay for you to feel snarky about this. You are just as entitled to your opinion as everyone else!

  13. mudepoz

    Hey. You’re a human! Cool. Not a witch, not a vamp, not a were. A human who just happens to have another world or two or three perking in her mind. Of which all of us are grateful for.

    Not everyone can have a life as bizarre as mine. And live through it.
    (Putting taxidermy specimens from the 1800’s back in their cases)

  14. gaines31098@yahoo.com

    Kim, if you have the time could you please answer this or maybe make it a post one day. How do you find or pick good readers for feedback when you are just starting out? Family has been to familish. They love everything I do. According to them James Patterson should be asking me to endorse his work. So, they don’t make the best readers. I also want to avoid the mean just to be mean readers. Any advice or thoughts from anyone would be welcome.

    • Hi Gaines.

      Family is great for keeping your moral boosted. I credit Guy with giving me the courage to believe in myself. Don’t discount them. However . . . for constructive advice to improve your work, I would suggest finding a group of people who meet every week face to face, not online, where you exchange and critique your work. It’s better if someone in the group writes what you do, but my writer’s critique group was hugely diverse, and it still felt good to get their advice.

      I don’t like online critique groups because it’s too easy for a “mean” person to use it as a way to make themselves feel better by scorning other’s work. Face to face is harder, and only serious people come every week–serious people are who you want to be working with.

      You can find writer critique groups by asking around at where they meet. Don’t be satisfied with one clerk’s answer, ask a couple. Groups meet at coffee houses, library’s, colleges, bookshops. Anywhere they serve food, coffee, and have tables and chairs. Good luck! I know it’s hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

  15. I am with Possum.

    While I love reading your text (and I don’t recall ever noticing a typo), Rachel, Ivy and Jenks are my constant car companions to and from work.

    Consider me one of the silent majority that loves your work and shows it by buying books and enjoys them as designed. 🙂

  16. Lesley

    There was a guy who really loved a webcomic, and decided that he loved it so much he should hack the site and delete the comics to prove that the site was vulnerable to those with bad intentions. Then he emailed the creator after they’d spent hours sweating over the attack and trying to post whatever backups they had and said, “But don’t worry, I made a backup, and you should hire me to help you fix your security, because I love it so much I want to protect it from jerks who would do this maliciously, unlike me, who did it out of love.” Then had the nerve to be shocked and angry when the creator said, “No thanks, I’m pretty freaked out now,” and everyone else said, “WTF?!”

    People have some really, really strange ways of showing appreciation, don’t they? I envy you your patience and your bravery in keeping an open dialogue with your fans, and your always polite replies even to the most repetitive and out-there comments. I would be a total recluse in your place, if I could manage it.

    • Robin

      Oh he** I’d be a total recluse in my own place now if I could manage it, never mind Kim’s. The artists (especially authors) who are willing to be so open and communicate with their fans are very few and very far between and this just one of the many many many things that makes our Ms. Harrison so very much loved and appreciated by us.

    • Maryellen

      Hear, hear!
      >applause<

    • Thank you, Lesley. I appreciate that.

  17. tish

    Adding wise to list of words I use to to explain your awesomeness!🙂

  18. Judi in NJ

    See that? If you feel like you’re being weighed down, then yesterday was necessary, yeah? Everything happens for a reason…we are all on this journey to learn something and hopefully change for the better. How fortunate you are that you took something positive away from this. And if nothing else a “small” reminder that you have kick-ass fans that love you!

    Rod just broke out a belt sander! Gotta go & have some home improvement fun! Yiiipppeeee!!! It’s my turn!!!! :DD

  19. Possum

    Typos – if they even exist – never bother me – I am hooked on audiobooks!

    As long as I can have Marguerite Gavin telling the story – all is good!

  20. suzannelazear

    Oh yes, I clearly remember being told how incredibly crappy my query letter was by an “expert.” The critique of it was so biting it made me cry. I sold my book and landed my agent with that very same “crappy” query.

    I guess this all comes with the territory, but it doesn’t mean it still doesn’t occasionally hurt or bug us or even piss us off. (Ok, I am still growing said thick skin, so I guess I’m more speaking for myself, lol)

    But still, writers are people, too. I think sometimes people forget that.

    Anyway, hugs. Have a great weekend.

    ~Suzi and the tot, too

  21. Maryellen

    Still got your back, Miss Kim!