9 January 2015

Ramble, ramble...

I belong to a couple of smallish writers’ and indie publishers’ groups online. I lurk in a few, actively participate in those small ones, and have left behind at least a dozen because of the utter lack of professionalism in them. No, I don’t think it needs to be all business nor overly formal, but if we’re there to discuss and dissect the nuts and bolts of publishing, then let’s do just that and save the personal pokes and jabs for elsewhere.

That doesn’t mean I follow my own credo all the time. I am just as guilty of straying off topic and doing it in a less than professional manner as anyone else.

The Independent Publishers Panel (aka Indy Pub Panel) is coming up again, and in spite of what we all said last year—Disneyland is a bad place to try to be all adult and get work things accomplished—it’s being held in the same venue. Apparently the lesson learned there needs to be reinforced, something no one is really complaining about. But, no, I did not want to deliver the main “panel” at this thing.

I’m not sure talking about my cat writing books and actually making sales is something I could talk about for an hour. I’m not adverse to a hearty 10 minute discussion with a few people, but just me talking to 19 other people? No one really wants that. I doubt I could do it and maintain any sense of professionalism. Especially if given enough mojitos to get me to open my mouth.

And that’s the crux: being professional, even for an event involving people who mostly know each other. I don’t think it matters if the event is small or large, filled with people who know each other well or not; if we’re going to be involved in making indy publishing a established profession, then we need to act like it.

And I might be a little touchy about it, having been the target of a very unprofessional attack on my work this past year. I was not happy to get unsolicited criticism as it is, but it was the complete lack of professionalism in how that criticism was given that made me take a step back. It surprised me that someone putting themselves out there as a professional would engage in what was essentially an expletive-laden and unhelpful pseudo-review.

This indy group has one particular member who is bluntly opinionated and not kind about it. She really does deserve a reality call, and because she has some truly warped ideas about the content of character where people who have tattoos and brightly colored hair are concerned, that reality call could come from me. It might come from me. But I would hope that I, along with everyone else, can maintain some semblance of being an adult at work, and that none of us lose sight of the fact that we are in a growing industry, and if we can’t get a grasp on what it means to be a professional in it, we’re only going to contribute to its potential downfall.

The workday isn’t 24 hours; we can all go be true to our inner 8 year olds at the end of the day. Or by lunchtime, if last year was a predictor (and I suspect it might be.)

The Queen can be dethroned, just not during the conduct of business. And dethroning the Queen does not also mean being an ass about it.

(Although, it would give me a fleeting, very momentary thrill to pop off with Bitch, you might be the Arbiter Queen of Everyone’s Morality, but I’m the freaking Drag King of All, and my crown is a lot bigger and a whole lot more fabulous, so shutity shut up.)

Yeah, no. I wouldn’t ever actually say that because the .75 second thrill would be followed by the angst of having hurt someone’s feelings, and no matter how well deserved, I just don’t want to do that.

But hell yeah, I might think it.

Thinking but not saying…that’s professional, right?

(It's highly likely I won't even see Her Majesty, so...)

And yes, my hair will be pink. That’s totally professional.

Yes it is.


Anonymous said...

Oh, golly, I wish you all allowed an audience! Sounds like the potential for a great show.
Susan S

Eileen said...

There is always one in the crowd isn't there? The know-it-all and can't resist telling everyone they know it all.

As for pink hair being professional...I have purple hair and I work a government agency and I'm a yes, pink (and purple) hair is professional!

Thumper said...

Ooh. Maybe I'll go purple...

Rider said...

Thank you for this. Sharon linked to it, and most of the people going read it. We're talking about it on the board. Only one person is having a meltdown, but you can guess who. She even typed in all caps. It's fun to watch and sad at the same time. I'm still not sure why you help her with her writing issues.