C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Writers: Choose choice, not ideology

Bertrand Russell's views on philosophy

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Talking politics with someone the other day, they said a particular candidate was so stupid they didn’t know when a reporter was rude to them. I doubt that. Assuming the politician dressed himself that morning, he did know and instead of reacting to the rudeness, he stayed on topic. He was polite—or even too polite.

The guy I was talking to already didn’t like the politician, so he chose not just to disagree with him, but to assume he was an idiot.

People choose sides. Sometimes they don’t even know why, but they get heavily invested in one outcome, often before we have any facts. Sure, people like to think they’re logical, but in fact they’re often intuitive. They jump to their conclusion and the logic that’s recruited only feels like logic. It’s actually rationalization.

We’re hardwired to make quick decisions. It’s in our genes to choose a tribe, too. We stick with that tribe, even when the tribe doesn’t serve us. Even when it’s a bunch of  millionaire basketball players, fans think they’re somehow on the team. It’s a religious fervor to join, to believe, to be one with a larger whole.

And it gets goofy. Nationalism, for instance, is tribalism write large. If you own a Mac and extol its virtues, a bunch of disproportionately angry people will call you a wuss in some web forum or other. We take ownership of things we don’t own. We choose up sides to divide us and them where there is no us and them. Gay teens get ostracized and bullied, many to suicide. Liberals are too quick to write off all conservatives. People can’t seem to make a distinction between “supporting the troops” and “disagreeing with the mission.”

Or, for writers, watch traditionally published authors shit on self-publishing. But this post isn’t about traditional versus indie. I’m not talking today about which way is best (as if any one way is best for everyone.) This is not another one of those posts debating the use of terms, indie versus self-published and who gets to claim what (as if words are owned or static.)

This is a post that simply says: compared to all the big problems we have, traditional publishing versus the new publishing? Pretty trivial. (And it doesn’t have to be all one thing or the other thing, anyway.)

Lighten up. Choose your own path. If you’re shitting on somebody or telling others what to do, ease up on tribal tendencies and focus on you.

Man in the Mirror and all that.

You be you. I’ll be me.

Filed under: Books, ebooks, links, publishing, Rant, self-publishing, Writers, , , , , ,

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