Friday, August 24, 2012

Check Your Ego at the Door

My 12-year old loves watching YouTube music videos. After reviewing some negative comments about one of the artists, she asked me why people even bother to watch videos and take the time to criticize them when they aren't even fans. I find her observation to be quite insightful. You don't have to like what others do or the way they go about doing what they do. You have a choice. No one can make you do anything that you don't want to do. And while you are certainly entitled to your opinions, it isn't necessary to beat people over the head with them. Just walk away. You can either stay and play, or you can pack up your toys and go home.  Be mindful that what goes around comes around.

You may dislike an editor's notes, hate self-publishing, or think that paying for book reviews is an unethical practice. And that's okay. How difficult is it to find a new editor, stay in the lane of traditional publishing, or work with unpaid reviewers? Not very difficult at all. There are thousands and thousands of people in the publishing world with whom you may work. Nobody will ever be a fan of everybody--and that's okay, too. The best and the worst of us have a place and a purpose in this industry whether we are firmly rooted in it or just passing through. Just be mindful that burning bridges leads to early retirement.

Some advice for us all (including yours truly): Please, please, please resist the urge to give in to the ego that drives us to believe our own hype and subsequently sit in judgement of others. This will free up our time to engage in more forward-thinking pursuits. After all, once we think we know everything, we stop learning anything. A little humility goes a long way.

Keep your pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...

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