Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Do people make themselves feel better by bullying others?
I'm on holidays and I made a decision while I've been at the lake to not co-author a series that someone had asked me to. I had agreed to take on the task with the stipulation that the only way we'd know if it would work and if we would be compatible was to give it a shot. It ended up being a major project on my behalf and the "red pencil" that I applied to only the first 7,000 words overwhelmed everything else in the document. It was an exhausting endeavour, time-consuming and involved no creative involvement on my part. The first book in the series was 60,000 words and it needed some serious editing.
I made the decision after deciding she was a little too pushy in telling me to think of it as "my job" and maybe I could take a few chapters to NOLA to give to editors and publishers. That all made me uncomfortable and had I wanted to do it, I'd certainly do it with my own work not on something that in all intents and purposes wasn't mine at all. I worded the email carefully, knowing she'd be upset especially since she'd had someone else bow out of the project before me. I didn't put down her writing or her character or anything else like that. I told her that with the right editing, her project could be good and I wished her the best of luck.
The email I got back was scathing, rude, demeaning and bullying. She attacked my character and the fact that I had discussed this with family and friends to make my decision. She said any rational person would be happy with having their name on the cover of the book and 50% of the profits. Excuse me, 50% of nothing is nothing.
She told me there is always a way to work things out when you "make an effort" and proceeded to tell me how normal people work a job, including breaks, lunch, etc. Excuse me again, lecturing me on how I treat my writing or my life is your business why? She accused me of not being an adult, on top of not being rational, plus apparently I have a "decided lack of character and maturity level". She said she was sick of supposedly decent people betraying her faith in them and I should be ashamed of myself.
I've whined enough so I'll end this - I hope everyone understands why I wrote it, not to be mean to anyone (I used no names after all) but to clear out my emotional mind of the moment. I'm gonna go back and try to enjoy the rest of my holidays now and maybe try to get back on the proverbial writers' horse before I completely fall off.
Thanks for listening.