I have been musing on this topic for a while. The idea of showing grace to your fellow writers. Before I explain what I mean by that, let me tell a quick tale that inspired this post.
Sometimes, when I need to get my brain working on stories or ideas, I’ll look up author websites. Sometimes, those authors put up excerpts from their journals and outlines on how certain books came to life. It’s a fascinating and instructive read as it gives me new ideas on how to structure or create my books. I came across the journal of a well-known, celebrated, modern day author. In it, the author had some…disquieting things to say about other facets of the genre (rather disparaging toward whodunits), writing about children and animals (the words “puke” and “ew” were used), and the general belief that their style of writing was the only one that seemed valid. While these are the author’s personal beliefs, they did take the effort to share them publicly, and it became rather a turn off. This author had been known to make rather generalized, all-encompassing statements of ignorance about independent publishing and character behaviors, statements that would later come back to haunt them, to their supreme shock and dissatisfaction.
And all I could think was that some of that backlash could have been prevented if they showed a little more grace. The author put out those controversial and not-very-open-minded statements out into the world. Sure, they might feel that way, but not all feelings have to be expressed. And sometimes, you’re not in the right. Being a little more open to different views, styles, genres, and working behaviors can be helpful to writers continually learning and growing. We are not perfect.
In a world where there can be so much cruelty and hate, let’s not add to it. Let’s remember to show a little more grace to our fellow readers and writers. We are not perfect, but we might learn something to get us just a little bit closer to that.