It's been a long, tough week, complicated by Blogger trying to drive me nuts, lightened by some wonderful news (about which I must keep mine lips sealed for the present) and spiced up by writing these posts. I appreciate all the kind words and nice comments.
Some of the best blog-related hate-mail I've gotten in ages came in response to some of the PTC posts, too. Really, you eavesdroppers and is-she-talking-about-me lurkers outdid yourselves this time. Highlights from hate-mail (paraphrased and posted without permission):
"You don't know anything. Just becuz your a loser your bitter and want to make everybody hate publishing. No one likes you."
Hey, I recognize that lousy spelling -- it's the No One Likes You chick!(she always ends all the e-mails with that line.) Aw, I've missed you, sweetie. It's been, what, at least a year since you last wrote. How are you? I mean, besides upset with me again.
Multiple variations on: "Were you talking about me in that post? Because if you were, I think you are being really unfair..."
No, I was not talking about you, you, you, you, you or you. But don't worry that people will think I was. Remember, I'm a loser, I'm bitter, and no one likes me.
"How did you sell 32 books with that attitude?"
37; five of them haven't hit the shelf yet. I did it while you were at all those conferences. Want to know what I did while you were sleeping last night?
Hostility is a fascinating thing. Dr. George Kelly defined it in his 1955 book The Psychology of Personal Constructs as the "continued effort to extort validational evidence in favor of a type of social prediction which has already proven itself a failure."
What Dr. George meant was that when your construct systems -- what you use to analyze and explain things that happen in your life -- fail to do their job, the Anxiety Fairy pays you a visit. We don't like the Anxiety Fairy, because that bitch has the power to make our collective construct systems collapse like a house of cards and throw us into the Deep Dark Pit of I Haven't a Fucking Clue, Do I? Also, rigid construct systems can't be modified; their owners build them to be inviolate. The combo of the two are why people get hostile, demand validation for their beliefs and otherwise try to enforce flawed construct systems, because they can't afford to be wrong.
What, you thought Dr. Sue was the only one into psychotherapy? You should hear my theory on Freud flashing his own parapraxes via his sexual motivation theories; it's a killer. I also did a riff on Dr. George's theories to shape future Terran attitudes in StarDoc, and while I don't completely agree with him -- I've observed hostility springing from sources other than fear of the Anxiety Fairy's bulldozer -- it's still interesting stuff.
In all things publishing, my final bit of advice is to keep those construct systems flexible, laugh at yourself and the biz, and enjoy learning new things. The Anxiety Fairy truly hates that. My thanks to everyone who picked up the PTC meme and gave out answers on their blogs. Keep writing and linking, the more opinions the merrier.