Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pride and Pretentiousness

Writers are like ice cream; flavorful, varied and the majority - full of nuts. As a proud member of the macadamia enhanced, I regard my critique partners as manna from Heaven, each more talented than the next - with one disturbing exception.

Oh, the shivers this man brings me. (And not in a shirtless, yummy Hugh Jackman way.) No, this particular member of my online writer’s group routinely feels the need to tout his publishing success, (translation: one article in The New Yorker circa 1986) as the benchmark we, the mere mortals of cyber-lit world can only hope to one day attain. For now, let’s refer to him as Tolstoy; pretty much sums up the ego.

Tolstoy claims to be a tenured English professor; although for all we know he could be Inmate #432 at Rikers Island. Profession aside, his condescending attitude defeats the group’s mission: offering insightful feedback and constructive criticism to aspiring writers in an encouraging environment. (We share snack ideas, too. Tolstoy hates that! And Writegirl221 – I made the Heath Bar Brownies – can I get an Amen! Thx!)

For instance, I started today’s post with a simile. Tolstoy would gag in admonishment at the obviously pedestrian lead approach. Gag away big guy; it’s the first week of school, you’re lucky I remember punctuation. (Sometimes I just want to grab his goofy ascot and twist, HARD. OK – no idea if he wears an ascot, but that’s how I picture him.)

Bottom line, if your support system offers more hurt than help – writer or real world – make a change. And if one bad apple spoils the pie – time to vote him or her off the island! Oh, and no worries, Tolstoy won’t read this. “Blogs are an outlet for undereducated, narcissistic type personalities craving attention.” (Admit it – you hate him now, too?!)


7 comments:

Patricia Stoltey said...

LOL! Yes, most of us who belong to critique groups know exactly what you mean. And voting a member off the island is usually the best solution or the group may not survive.

Kathryn Elliott said...

Thanks for stopping by Patricia! And yes, we are planning a cyber revolt!

janesadek said...

Macadamia enhanced. You have officially made my day. Thank you!!

Kathryn Elliott said...

Glad to be of service, Jane!

kimwriter15 said...

Oh, yeah! Been there and done that. Only my group was not online. Ran into a couple of Tolstoys.

kimwriter15 said...

Yeah, I agree with Jane. Loved "Macadamia-enhanced"! LOL

Kathryn Elliott said...

Thanks for stopping by Kim! (And we're all a little nutty! Makes great stories!)