I met John Scalzi briefly last year at Worldcon. Nice guy. Lovely wife. He was grinning like crazy, having won a Hugo. I've read a couple of his books, thought generally well of them, and I'm interested in his new fantasy novella. I read his blog regularly and enjoy his commentary on the absurdity of politicians, his astute observations on writing, and his general silliness.
But my estimation of him slipped a bit after yesterday's post, basically a longer nab on I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script.
Caveat: everyone has to unload, bitch, whine, and otherwise rant on about something. I'm sure, as a Relatively Famous Author, he does get requests to read a lot. Hell, I get requests to read and who am I? Nobody, that's who. And I'm sure people do get offended when he doesn't want to cuddle their brand new, pukey baby. Hell, I've even had this happen to me, and who am I? Yeah.
But back to a point I made the other day...be nice. Don't cost you nothin'.
His post isn't reaching the intended audience. If someone's an asshole about your not reading for them, then their train already left the local cellular coverage area. Sarcasm will only potentially alienate those people who would never ask him to read anyway, the people who write and know what kind of time it takes, the folks who understand the meaning of "busy"-- you know--folks like me.
Thing is, there are by and large mostly fabulous people in writing. I know, oh, about a hundred fairly successful authors. Most of them by far are the nicest (weirdest, too, but that's a good thing) folks on the planet. They GET IT. They understand what it takes. They know the insecurity and woe that is Being A Writer. And weirdly enough, they love to help. That's something I get, cuz I love to help too. (Though I don't know what help I'd be cuz who am I?)
Like everywhere, you run into the occasional ass who thinks because s/he can make shit up s/he's a Big Fucking Deal. I hold that you actually run into that way less in our industry than any other, agents and editors included. I can think of a handful of people who I wouldn't adore spending time with in our industry. World at large? I can think of a handful of people who I would adore spending time with.
Writers are among the most superb people I know. The few assholes among us stand out.