I've attended several writing conferences, funtions, subscribed to writing newsletters and listserves and here is my burning question:
Is it okay, feng-shui, protocol or whatever to bash on other authors?
Here are my assumptions, which I think are pretty reasonable:
1. Writers are people. Tough people, sure, but we still have feelings and emotions, just like any other professionals.
2. Writing is a profession. Authors should and can be professional about their competition. Even NBA, NFL, etc. athletes will talk about how they'll dominate, but when they're interviewed, they are very careful not to say anything mean or derrogatory about any one person in particular.
3. Most writing has flaws. When I read a book, I find myself editing as I go along. Kind of spoils the experience in some ways. However, I often also find delight in the characters, the descriptions, the situations and (personally) the romance.
Based on these assumptions, I find it unprofessional to bash on other authors.
Yes, I get wildly jealous sometimes of other authors (that means anyone who is published since I'm not yet). And yes, I find value in critiquing others' writing--learning from their strengths and weaknesses.
As a community, we do a great job of teaching, encouraging and reaching out to each other. Why not also set an example and resolve to say and write positive things about other authors?
Have you experienced writer bashing? Leave us a comment and let us know your opinion.