I’ve been giving thought to many things recently. Jobs done, the sometimes unpleasant responses to doing work well, despite it being unpopular. Amid all the negativity and spite that has tried to attach itself to me, several things have become clear–professionals admire other professionals, and amateurs find reasons to turn their issues into yours. I wear many hats, a result of working in a number of areas related to, but not exclusive to publishing. With two talented and dedicated partners and friends, I own and run an internationally read magazine that’s hosted some of the top talents in many entertainment fields. I’ve held the #1 best-seller position for over two years with one of my publishers, and achieved best-seller status with several others. In the past year, three of my books have reached the top ten best-seller lists on Amazon, with one of them landing at the #2 spot for a couple of days. Things to be proud of, to be sure.
Pride is a funny thing, just like popularity. Too much and you lose your perspective. Too little and you lose your ability to strand up straight and control your life. Popularity is a two-sided weapon–too little and you feel like all you’re doing means nothing and is reaching no one–too much and all you see is your small universe, not the bigger picture that is life. Pride can help you shine, or choke your potential to grow and learn.
I’ve gotten weary of people in this business who scream and shout down the walls when things don’t go the way they want them to. Those who congregate on sites to snipe, bitch, and lay waste to their peers for whatever reasons, need to take a closer look at what is motivating their rage, because “the people have a right to know” is a cover for a thousand sins in any business. The people do not have the right to know everything because some aspect of a person’s life is public. There truly is a right way and a wrong way to conduct your business, and public floggings are not conducive to impressing anyone with your real or imagined cause.
Like many of my peers, I’ve had issues with bad publishers, other authors, even over-zealous readers a couple of times. Unlike some, I don’t take the issues public. Nothing taints your credibility worse than “scandal” or attacking other business people. When asked about certain publishers, I will explain my experience, but I have never told anyone they shouldn’t publish with a company because I don’t like them, or any other reason. We each have only our experiences to draw from, and one man’s joy is another man’s sorrow as we all know.
Recently, something has happened that has made me look very closely at motivation, response, and honest emotional reactions to attacks made against me. It doesn’t seem to matter a damn to anyone that some people just aren’t interested in “mud-wrestling” with anyone who happens to have a bug up their butt about someone else. Frankly, I have enough on my own plate without looking for more to add to it that doesn’t involve me in any way! Shit-storms never really blow over, they just change shape and focus, moving on to gobble up any new fuel that people feed into it. Any doubts about that? Look at how many times a day any given social media is filled with virulent attacks and blasts to perceived enemies. For some it’s the only way they can get anyone’s attention, so they don the mantle of “defender” of some ideal that is then perverted and twisted to serve the immediate need of our modern Joan of Arc types.
Martyrdom aside, I have no great ambition to battle the publishing world I want to one day conquer. My dragons have been slain, my fears acknowledged and tamed, hopes embraced and put in the light so they can grow into real dreams attained, not simply aspired to. Until we know ourselves, we can’t really grow into all we want to become. And success should never be clawed at and clutched because it’s been stolen from someone else through manipulation and demeaning. If you think you can win your goals and dreams by tearing apart someone else, you’ll lose everything you think you’ve secured for yourself. Fact of life. Learn it well.
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