Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Playground Rules

We have rules here on the Playground.

1. No running. (Mainly because we don’t like to break a sweat.)

2. No throwing. (Because based on our athletic ability, “you throw like a girl” would be a compliment.)

3. No hitting. (Because I might break a nail.)

4. No spitting. (Because it’s just plain gross.)

5. No tattling. (Vegas Rules, baby. What happens on the Playground, stays on the Playground.)

6. No hoarding the chocolate. (Because we all need the endorphins.)

7. Watch your mouth. (This rule is rather important. (Says the girl with small feet so she can put them both in her mouth at the same time.) I’ve seen too many people say things on their blogs that make me cringe in embarrassment for them. Don’t they know that someone will find that blog entry berating that editor and will send the link to said editor? I’ve seen people fan the fires of flame wars instead of taking the high road or dig themselves in so deep it's scary. You want to throw them a rope, but you're afraid they'll hang themselves with it.

It’s dangerous to carry on like that in public. People are watching and those people have longer memories than we like to think. It’s easy to get lulled into a sense of complacency. After all, the same regular commentators show up on the blog, so they are the only ones reading it, right? Well, the seven thousand hits to this blog beg to differ. One of those hits could be my dream editor…I’d hate to destroy my chances just because I had a bad day and felt the need to vent.

There are authors I won’t read because I’ve been to their blogs and been horrified at what I’ve found there. There are unpubbed authors I won’t buy when and if they do become published because of things they’ve said on bulletin boards and email loops. The writing community is small, and the internet has made it even smaller. If your careless words don’t harm your chances with editors and agents, you may be running off potential readers.

We made a solemn vow when we built the Playground that we wouldn’t post anything on the site or on the blog that was negative about the industry, editors, agents, or other writers. I take this vow very seriously…not only because what I say may come back to bite me in the a$$, but also because the other Playfriends would be damaged by association. It’s one thing to torpedo your own career, but there has to be a special place in hell for those who torpedo others’ careers as well. So we all count to ten before we post anything, anywhere. And if we still aren't sure, we run it by the Playfriends for a second opinion.)

8. Play nicely with others. Of course, if you’re obeying the first seven rules, this one comes easily. It's, of course, the most important rule of all.

So, been in any trouble lately? Broken any Playground rules? Have a cautionary tale to tell? The Problem Child wants to know. Best (worst?) story gets a prize.


Playground Monitor said...

*shakes head vigorously*

I've been a good girl unless you count waiting a week to tell the DH that #2 son isn't going straight on to graduate school. Then while he was already mad, I told him that the 25 white azalea bushes he planted 2 weeks ago are blooming -- pink blossoms. Argh!

When I wrote my article on setting up the blog, I got a quote from Alesia Holliday that has stuck with me. She said if you wouldn't want to see something on the front page of the New York Times, then you probably don't want to put it on your blog. The same probably holds true for an email or a message board.

Some of the things I read bring to mind that Dierks Bentley song "What Wuz I Thinking?"


Smarty Pants said...

I am proud to say I have not broken any rules! Primarily for the reasons set forth in the list. Spitting? Ew.

I don't understand why people vent in their blogs. Don't they know its not the same as the diary they kept under their pillow in 7th grade? Even if the person they're talking about doesn't read it, odds are someone will and it will get back to them. Or they might google themselves and it will come up. You can get in trouble for something you said months ago in the heat of anger if google kicks up that gem of a post.

That's what Vegas rules are for. Gather your playfriends in a soundproof room or hotel suite. Scream, jump up and down, cuss...let it all out there. Not here. To use the worn out phrase of my youth...duh!


Loribelle Hunt said...

Good rules. :) I've seen stuff on blogs that just makes me cringe. I'm a member of a rather large romance writers forum that mostly is pretty good about not doing this. But every now I'll see something there and wonder, hey is she on crack or something!? Lol I've moved a few writers/aspiring writers to my non-buy list because of it, too.

Maureen said...

Reading your rules and thinking of thoughts posted that people might regret made me think of this book that came out called The Notebook. Four girls writing down everything they thought and did during high school. My first thought when I heard of it was that they might come to regret it.

Carla Swafford said...

I've read a few blogs and emails that made me cringe for the people. The big no-no I do is try to give answers to questions I should say "not necessary to know." Thank goodness I've never said anything negative about an author, editor, or agent on a blog, email or to anyone that I can think of. I believe in not burning bridges. It might be the only way out of town during a flood.

I can't imagine anyone wanting to win that prize - even repeating what someone else said could be dangerous. ::g::

Smarty Pants said...

I've done my share of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Very recently, actually... at work, I was in the kitchen talking to my former supervisor about a position I had applied for (and now have). We were both making oatmeal and discussing the delays in the process (two managers were fighting over me). The last words that came out of my mouth were - "I don't really care who I end up working for. I just need out."

It was just then that my boss came into the kitchen. I hurriedly finished my oatmeal and dashed down the hall. I am much better behaved on the Playground.