Tuesday, 4 May 2010
A word of caution...
The internet is a big place with lots of free resources. I've written before about the benefits and advice we writers can glean but I've also written about taking care where you get your information, and I'd like to repeat that warning.
Always take internet advice with a pinch of salt.
OK, I have some lovely online buddies but let's face it, most of the people we encounter online are strangers who, however well intentioned they claim to be, could be using the net for their own agenda. I'm not saying everyone is, I'm just saying have a care who you listen to until you know you can trust them. Check out their claims. Google the hell out of everyone. Cultivate a healthy skepticism.
Last year I had my eyes opened in a shocking way when a very large and well established writers' board treated an acquaintance of mine in a very shabby way. It made me realise that self-appointed guardians of the writing community may not be all that. It made me wonder if they aren't being entirely honest with us to suit their own purpose.
Next time you are warned off a particular agency or publisher, take a minute to ask yourself whether the person warning you is acting purely out of altruistic motives or could they possibly be getting any benefit for themselves by thinning the competition. Beware of sites which act as judge and jury without giving you their sources and explaining how they arrived at that decision. It's easy for me to sit here and tell you Santa Claus is really just a great big scammer out to get your milk and cookies, but who benefits if that leaves only my chimney for him to drop down next Christmas?