Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Go jump in a volcano

There's a boy I know. We used to be friends -- good friends, actually. And then came sophomore year. I discovered, in this time, something I'd only read about. When someone with talent realizes they have talent, an ego develops.
Wait. Cross that out. Develops? Who am I kidding -- it explodes.
We all like to think that we are awesome and fantastic. That's because we all are part awesome and fantastic. But you know what the fastest way to mute that is?
Develop a massive, oozing ego.
At the Cassandra Clare signing, there was a woman a couple of rows over. Whenever someone asked a not-so-wonderful question, she would sigh loudly, or declare that it was online. I heard her discussing her blog at one point with a random woman; at another point in time, when Cassandra Clare made a comment about inkpop, the woman proceeded to pat herself on the back and inform the random woman -- now looking a bit scared -- that she knew what inkpop was.
Here's the thing.
I have a blog.
I know what inkpop is. I pretty much killed myself staying in the Top Five last March. And yeah, I started to bounce quietly when Ms. Clare mentioned inkpop. I didn't really feel the need to announce it.
And guess what?
No one in the audience was impressed by the knowledge.
The ego needs to be cut. In a bad way. It's like the boy I used to be friends with -- it's hard to be around him anymore, because he just so filled with ego that I find myself inching away as conversations drag on.
This experience seems to illustrate something I've noticed about some of the people in the blogging community; the ones who have discovered some kind of talent. As a community, there tends to be -- well, a little bit of an ego.
I'm not talking about anyone in particular, and I'm not talking, quite frankly, about blogs that have really, honestly 'made it big,' For instance, the best-most-awesome-librarian-ever has a wonderful blog. But she doesn't get puffy and pompous about it. (That's okay. I'll do the gushing for her.)
Blogs are kind of egotistical tools as it is. I mean, we write for other people to read. We assume someone cares what we say. And obviously that assumption is right, otherwise blogs wouldn't be so successful. But it's still annoying when people shout their accomplishments from the rooftops. Or the plastic seats.
Ack. I'm not doing very well describing my agitation. I guess it comes down to this;
People who talk just to hear their voice generally aren't all that entertaining. We've all read books like that.
I seriously hope my blog isn't like that; if it is, tell me, and I'll go jump in a volcano do my best to fix it.

-realizes I just wasted your time reading a post -- by me -- on ego-
Aw, crap.
More later. Or maybe not.


Hilary Wagner ~ Debut Author said...

Sam, I've read your posts for a while now and I've never EVER thought you were tooting your own horn in any way! So, please, please don't jump into a volcano! All your readers and friends and family would be sad! ;) A blog is an egocentric thing. How could it not be? It's all about you! Dare I quote Sally Fields? We like you! We REALLY like you!

And I've been meaning to mention, love your new blog design. I know you've had it for a while now, but just wanted to let you know!

xoxo -- Hilary

Christine Fonseca said...

Such a great post! THANK YOU...And I love your voice in your no worries...okay? Okay!

Jen said...

Your blog voice is fantastic!!! Your blog is amazing, I love the whole thing, so inviting and fun!

You make me wonder if my blog voice is tooting my own horn (as hilary put it), I would certainly hope not, I love all my readers and want them to feel welcome and have a good time while they're sticking around!

Which I'll be back! I'm finding this whole follow button to be a pain at work... not accessing it is driving me nuts!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Sam, your post hits on the head exactly my problem with the blogging community. I don't really feel a part of it sometimes because I don't talk to big bloggers and sometimes I feel like it's a special little circle that I'm not part of. But I just remember that I blog for me, for me to remember what books I've read and so I can share them with you, my awesome teens. And yes, that is a little egocentric, blogging is, but I hate when people toot their own horn (and you don't!)

I almost hate posting about when I've been up for an award or some other big news. It's exciting and I want to share it, but at the same time, I don't want people thinking I'm just all about "oh, look what I've done!" But I think it really depends on how you do it and say it too. (I kind of hate In My Mailbox posts for this same reason-the ooh, look at me, I'm cool so I got this book!)

The problem happens when bloggers take it too far and think they are owed the world just because they blog. They jump in the front of the line "because I'm a blogger" or they think the author is their best friend forever "because I'm a blogger" or they demand the latest ARC of a huge book "because I'm a blogger." Just because you blog doesn't mean you are entitled. If people would just continue to blog because they love sharing books, it'd be better.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Oh and thanks for the wonderfully sweet comments! You guys really are making me blush!:)

Sam said...

Hilary: Hah, thanks. :P I try not to; it's so aggravating to read people that are glued to their own horn.
And yes. Quoting Sally Fields is always allowed. :P
Thanks on the blog design, btw!

Christine: Thank YOU! I'm glad my voice isn't obnoxious. That would be remarkably sad.

Jen: -blushes- Thanks. I seriously doubt yours is, especially if your wondering about it. Those who really have a problem don't generally realize it.
-frowns- The follow button? Hmm. The one at the top usually works better.
-goes to poke at it- -computer hisses-
Ack. I should not be around technology.

Greenbeenteanqueen: (I never know whether to call you Sarah . . .)
You basically just said my entire point in a pretty, concise way.
-blinks- HOW DID YOU DO THAT? Seriously. I'm pretty sure you hit the nail on the head. And then hammered it perfectly.
I remember you saying bloggers at ALA were like that. It's aggravating. And stupid. And mostly aggravating.
And as for making you blush, well. You don't brag about yourself, so Maggie and I have to do it for you.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Haha! You can call me Sarah!:) You can be one of the special people who know my real name!:) And yes, it was a problem at BEA and ALA and made me say GRRRR many many times!