Monday, October 20, 2014

Authors: where is your honor?

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while now, and the events of this weekend have frustrated me enough that I feel it's time.

There has been a lot of author related behavior that has given me pause. Lashing out at reviewers, mocking the writing preferences of other authors, and the list goes on and on. But nothing has made me as angry and disappointed as the three events that have occurred lately. A well-known reviewer and supporter of the industry is sued and authors laugh? A mega author makes light of downloading child pornography? An author freaks out over a bad review and stalks the reviewer and authors revere this behavior?

So I ask you: where is your honor? Where is your decency? Where is your stamp that says I'm an author and I will act appropriately?

Authors are a small group compared to many other industries, and one that automatically receives respect from the public. I tell people I have a master's degree, and they nod. I tell them I've been in business for ten years, and they nod. I tell them I'm an author, and suddenly their expressions change. They're impressed. They're interested. That level of respect deserves to be protected and cherished.

There are thousands who dream of being writers, who would never dare disrespect the title. To the authors out there acting like fools, hiding behind their creativity and mild celebrity, I'm ashamed of you. I'm ashamed of the bad name you are giving to the rest of us.

I have been writing for about three years now, and this December, I will have five books published, four more releasing in 2015. I have a day job and a family, and I still work myself to the bone for this title. I respect it and the people involved (including bloggers) that much. And so should you.

It's time we, as authors, are humbled. We are given an amazing opportunity to share our stories with the masses—stop taking it for granted. Appreciate that you can call yourself an author. I do.