Monday, December 05, 2005

An Outsider's View: Industry Navel-Gazing

I happened to mention the recent dust-up about crime author Sandra Scoppettone to a friend of mine, who isn't involved in the publishing industry at all. She read this entry on my blog, Sandra's own blog, and Miss Snark's take on it all. At the risk of flogging a dead horse, here's my friend's view:
Martha, this is the most intense case of industry navel gazing I can imagine. Poor Sandra didn't offend anyone, she merely pointed out that she was concerned she might not find another editor that "fit" like the old one. If anything, she was complimenting the man who was her editor, and recognizing the positive way they had worked together.

Being concerned that a 29 year old editor might not fit as well is as valid as being concerned that a size 6 pair of pants might not fit well. The size 6 pair might be perfectly nice pants, but if you wear a 10, what good do they do you?

The second issue (should she have shared so much?) gets a resounding "Yes!!" from me. What's the point of a blog if you're going to skim the surface? Isn't that what mass media - newspapers, magazines - are about? Aren't blogs supposed to be more personal than that? If you castigate and excoriate the people who write what they're *really* thinking on their blog, who'll ever blog the truth? Far from Sandra sounding like a whiny writer, the responders strike me as "difficult editors". (I suspect those are the people giving 29 year-old editors a bad name ; )

I can't imagine the squirming type of feeling of not knowing whose hands your life will be placed in next. (Makes me want to not write ; ) Perhaps all the behind the-scenes people who don't feel they get enough credit are having a field day with a writer who has the guts to say she's worried. Sticking it to the talent - if you will. Seems like the kind of situation that brings out the worst in people.

Really, makes them ALL look bad - if you ask me.