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Secret Agents and Other Bullshit

11

November 3, 2010 by Renee

Part of the busines of writing and publishing is being known. Am I right? Okay, well perhaps I should say for most of us who want to achieve some level of success, it’s being known. How’s that you bunch of whiners? Jeeze.
I’ve really just had it up to here (points to nose-eye level) with anonymous agent, editor, publisher, author blogs who dole out advice to us noobs and yet hide behind some silly or ominous pseudonym and then become offended if someone dares to question their reliability. Well shit, how reliable would you find a gynecologist that goes by the name Mr. Feely and wears a PeeWee Herman mask and a clown wig every time he sees you? How about a mechanic who calls himself Handy Manny and covers his face with a welding helmet (what are they called?) and refuses to sign his invoices with anything other than The Man? Not very frigging trustworthy if you ask me. I’ll tell you, if Mr. Touchy said I needed another pap because last week’s was inconclusive or Handy decided that I needed $700 in repairs to my brand new car, I’d definitely question their advice.

So perhaps these examples are like comparing apples to oranges and perhaps I do tend to exaggerate my points just a little, but you do get what I’m saying, right? Today was like the straw that broke the proverbial camel or whatever. I read a post, very nicely written, disagreeing with an anonymous agent blog. No, I won’t get into particulars here as I’m sure a million other blogs will be posting said links defending either side. Anyway, the nicely worded disagreement cited none other than the Shark’s response to this original anonymous blog. (are you dizzy yet?) Again, Ms. Reid was herself and didn’t mince words. Sure she could have written the post without fuck or crock of shit, but where’s the fun in that? Where’s the shark in that? She is what she is and makes no apologies. I like that. I don’t like someone who offers advice which contradicts other advice but hides behind a pseudonym. I don’t like writers defending this anonymous advice as though it were the gospel and we writers were a bunch of sissies who’d never heard the word fuck.

I’m still learning the world of publishing and I’m querying agents at a dizzying pace collecting rejections faster than I can record them on my little organizational spreadsheet. I don’t always know who is right and who is wrong. But I do have a brain in my head and I often use it. (I know, hard to imagine) I can pick out good advice from bad and I know that I would trust someone who lays their cards out there for everyone to see rather than playing them close to their chest. I don’t like poker, it’s irritating and stressful and I don’t enjoy playing games it when I’m trying to establish myself and my writing.

So, there’s my thoughts on that. If you can’t be real, then don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

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11 thoughts on “Secret Agents and Other Bullshit

  1. Exactly. I hate getting advice from people who can't, I mean won't tell me who they are. This topic seems to come up a lot lately and every time it does I get all riled up about it. Damn. LOL.

  2. Renee Miller says:

    It does come up quite frequently, although maybe we're just noticing it and it's nothing new. either way, it's annoying. We have this issue in forums as well and although i believe people have the write to use a pseudonym, I want to shake them when they're all pissed and offended that someone might want to question their credibility. Okay, so you might have been working in the industry for 20+ years Mrs. ILOVECATSANDIJUSTBOUGHTAFISH^^**!!@, but forgive me for asking, where have I seen your work? Can I call you 'AFISH' or shall I use that whole ridiculous code name? Could you tell me who these publishers/agents/experts you've worked with are? What? Well I know that the avatar depicting a hairless cat should be enough verification, but I'm a cautious sort.

  3. Renee Miller says:

    Haha. I wrote 'write' instead of right, AGAIN!! How's that for credible?

  4. It's funny when your brains is thinking one thing but your fingers do something else.

  5. This is the main reason I write and post comments with my full, real name.Whatever my opinions, they are mine, and I weigh them carefully before I blurt them in public.

  6. Renee Miller says:

    I think that having your real name there holds you accountable for what you say. This is why I'd trust someone using their real name and being a complete asshole before someone using a pseudonym. You're right, Maria, one has to (or should) weigh what they're saying and make sure they have all of the facts, or face the consequences. Own our opinions. I like that. Many don't really like mine, but they're mine and I stand behind them. I think the internet allows for way too much verbal diahrea and not enough accountability.

  7. What she said! I totally agree. I've only been in this blogging universe for two months but i'm going to be myself and i'll be damned if i would change for some person saying "this isn't the way it's done". Fuck em! Great post!

  8. Renee Miller says:

    Thanks Lynn. Was it Doctor Seuss who said: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” I think that's how it went. Anyway, I love Doctor Seuss.

  9. Terrific post! I too blog and post under my full name and don't understand why many don't. Actually, I think I'm starting to figure out why people don't — and I don't like it. So three cheers for us first-and-last-namers! May we go forth and prosper. 🙂

  10. Exceptionally well expressed, Renee, and I couldn't agree more! Having been attacked on a certain site numerous times by the types you're referring to, I finally cancelled my membership. That would be the one where you use six sentences. I would have continued to deal with their (yes, plural) attacks, except that a simple exercise addressing this kind of behaviour was "the straw that broke the camel's back" for me…read it for yourself here: http://alternativeheadspace.blogspot.com/2010/10/sin-or-shame.htmlThe real kicker was when one of the "attackers" called me an "arrogant little fuckwad", for the post I linked above. This is beyond criticism, and well into the realm of bullying.Its nice to see that I'm not alone in feeling this way about the cowardly "authors" who perpetuate this kind of behaviour in a Writing Community.

  11. Renee Miller says:

    Wow, Steve, that's awful. I haven't been to the place of six sentences for a really long time. I wish that I had been there because you'd at least have had someone to say 'Okay, folks, now grow some balls and use your real names when talking to me, about me, or at me.' It's one thing to debate, or to have a healthy if perhaps heated discussion, it's quite another to hide behind an avatar in order to bully someone. It's sad that these are adults in most situations. We wonder where the kids learn it, eh?

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Renee

Renee

I like to write stuff. Sometimes it's funny. I've published some novels and short fiction. I also battle an addiction to cake and potato chips, and I sometimes have inappropriate fantasies involving Kevin Spacey.

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