Friday, 10 February 2012

Who do you call talented?

Those of you who know me also know that I don't hold back when I get an overdose of something that annoys me. As the title already hints: it's the Indies again. I'm an Indie author myself and I do get invites (perhaps not anymore after today) to do guest posts and interviews, I am busy networking on social media sites and I even connect people if I see fit.

It's all good and wonderful to help people, it's all perfectly fine to do blog tours and get your name out there, but what I find increasingly sickening is the mutual appreciation society. If you look on Indie blogs you see 'Today I'm talking to the incredibly talented Indie author xyz'. That, to be honest, makes me feel incredibly. Sick that is.

I see that everywhere when Indies talk to each other, one says, your success is well deserved and the answer will be: so is yours, you're so talented. But how many of those talented people have read the other talented's work, be it a longer excerpt or a full novel? I would guess not even 50%. Isn't that like going past a restaurant, looking at the menu and then saying, the food is really good in here?

For an interview you don't necessarily read the work, all you need is a rough overview about what the person is doing. That's all okay, but calling someone talented just because the person happens to be in the same boat is just wrong. What do you do if you then read the author's book and find he or she's not so talented?

I often feel like Indies think they need to blow up smoke each other's arses just to maintain the friendly tone, but isn't it enough to wish each other well?

Yes, I have a few people I can confidently recommend to someone, because I find their writing engaging, their stories interesting and them in general talented. Those will know it because I have told them several times. But you will not see me telling an author he's talented when I didn't read at least enough to form an opinion.

Look around on Twitter, those who follow each other to compliment each other; it's just a big love-you-writing fest. Sorry, just because you love my writing, doesn't mean I will love yours, too.

Okay, rant over. 

Happy weekend, everyone :-)


  1. The refreshing honesty in this rant kicks ass. Indie writers should be helping each other to be better writers. You don't need to be harsh in order to give someone decent feedback. I think a lot of folks out there are not good at giving feedback which will actually help the other person. So instead, they just kiss each others ass.

  2. That's why I started my Facebook group Improve Your Writing, so we can do just that.

    1. What, Catherine? Call each other talented? hahaha.

  3. Ryan! Hello, love.

    Well, I'm always honest. Not saying all Indies are like that. I just fail to understand why Indies feel the need to call each other talented and praise the hell out of each other, rather than just introducing the person and let the reader decide if the person's talented or not.

  4. I would always much rather have constructive criticism from another author (indie or otherwise), than a "your wonderful (and I've never read your book)" any day.

    To know my dialogue needs work or someone wants more character development, helps me more as a writer than someone tweeting a link to a book that they've never read, getting me a sale and then a 5h1t review.

    I've done my share of guest posts, and have hosted guest posts too, but generally they are where I have either read the authors book(s) and/or they have read something of mine (I include blog posts and flash fiction here, as I only have the one published book). It's not a rule, but they always feel much better to do, than ones where it's an obligation.

    Anyhow rant's thought provoking.

    1. Hey, Alan, I'm still trying to get used to your new picture. ;-) Nice to see the real you.

      Well, I don't mind if people don't read my books or any work from me before interviewing me. That's what questions are for. But I want to be introduced as Stella Deleuze or Indie author Stella Deleuze. I object to be called talented when the interviewer isn't familiar with my writing. That's what I'm referring to. I see that so many times that Indies just say to each other, you're so talented, and the other one says, so are you and they often don't mean it. It's like asking How do you do? and replying How do you do? Like an automatic response. Grrrrr.

  5. Morning Stella,

    I began to wonder if Zorro had got out and crapped on the carpet for a minute there.

    If, and I do say if, I'm going to praise someone, it will be for something of theirs I have read and enjoyed.

    This latest online love in I leave well alone.


  6. I only ever praise myself, because nobody is as talented as me.

  7. Now, Mrs O'Leary, that made me laugh. Well, if we don't believe in ourselves, we might as well give up. :-)