“I’m only trying to help?”

Personal Blog

Something’s been nagging away at me since yesterday, and so rather than keep it to myself, I want to get it out on paper, or onscreen, as it were.

While haphazardly researching the internet for inspiration around writing, I stumbled across an author’s website, who at first glance gave the distinct impression that he was a writer of credibility, after all, his accomplishments were very much front and centre of his home page, lest anybody forget just how amazing he was, which is exactly why my suspicions were aroused.

So without digging too deep into this stranger’s psyche, I casually clicked on the numerous menus and tabs, for no other reason than to see what might present itself, while admittedly half-tempted to just drop the  investigative string where it was, and to just move on, but then, after only a few minutes, I found what I thought was my first clue. There, in an archived section of the site was a blog post about charging writers to essentially analyse their first page of whatever manuscript they might be writing.

Now it all seems harmless enough at first blush, but on reflection, the whole principle of asking for money from those who are obviously vulnerable, (and I suspect) novice writers in exchange for a single, and obviously biased opinion (let’s not lose sight of that), which may or may not be any more useful than the person submitting, is downright wrong.

I say this is because although I know it’s always provident to ask for help and seek feedback where you can, this arrangement smacked of nothing more than one person profiting from another’s vulnerability, and unavoidable misery (yes I have read some of his comments, and they are arrogant to the point of trite, while being cleverly disguised as somehow constructive), and worse still, for the same egocentric author to write a book on the subject (again no doubt using other people as examples for the writer’s own over-inflated sense of ego) just takes the bloody biscuit and then some.

In no uncertain terms, I personally find that type of opportunistic bullshit downright abhorrent and exploitative, and it’s a quality guaranteed to boil my blood, hence this post, I suppose.

For my own part, if I were damaged enough to consider myself a literary genius (which I most certainly do not), and I felt somehow compelled to help struggling writers improve their work, not only would I adopt an approach that empowers and enables those brave enough to ask for and receive my feedback, but at no point would I have the audacity to ask them to pay me for what amounts to little more than a few minutes of my time, after all if I am the genius I (hypothetically) so obviously claim to be, then surely I can do it standing on my head in the dark with one hand tied behind my back (or whatever analogy is more appropriate to this particular blog).

I suppose my point is that while one person may appear to be helping people, the truth of the fact is that they have merely constructed a means by which to feed their own warped sense of grandiosity in exchange for another’s genuine sense of inadequacy, which is the lowest form of social interaction there is.

I mean who the fuck gave this person the right to judge anybody besides himself? And to then charge money for the so-called privilege? Seriously, it doesn’t get lower than that, it really doesn’t.

What a total dick this guy is.

There, I think I feel a little less irritated now, and maybe this is why people ‘blog’, or maybe as I’ve already said before, I’m just getting it all wrong? Either way, if it makes me feel better then I’m going to keep on doing it, after all, it’s only my subjective feedback and opinion, so why would he get upset if somebody thinks he’s a dick and that if he changed his ways he’d be less of one? I mean, it’s not like I’m charging him anything for the ‘privilege’.


Author: Neil Egan-Ronayne

Author, publisher and foodie...

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