Question of the Week: Have relations w/another writer…


June 1, 2008 by A.C. Rhodes

ever gotten so bad that it caused anxiety and effected interactions w/your other colleagues and friends? What do you do about it?

2 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Have relations w/another writer…

  1. A.C. Rhodes says:

    All right, I was already cyber-spanked today via MySp (thanks, Deb) over this one; presumably because no one would be expected to think about these experiences, let alone share.
    Yet, as I become more experienced and since has been around in this capacity for nearly a year and seen its share of projectile bile, I can’t help but think it’s a plausible question.
    The possibility of the answer being yes is almost mathematical, as writers are going to know other writers, forming either friendly, working or acquaintance relationships over years. With that comes familiarity which often times leads way to the subsequent contempt.
    Instances could include an editor knowing about a couple of job openings and not telling a friend, as opposed to a casual acquaintance. Or, as we’ve seen here before, differing recollections about certain incidents that have transpired – additionally, how high acrimony can escalate can influence the outcome.
    Of course, in these cases some writers may be more sympathetic to one side or the other, or merely objective, which could be even worse – with each side feeling slighted.
    The fallout for being stuck in the middle could range from trust issues influencing future work assignments to anxiety when seeing various contemporaries at industry functions or parties and feeling unsure whether to talk to one or both. As we all know, some colleagues are higher maintenance than others or have a more acute sense of loyalty.
    So what’s a friend, contemporary or workmate to do? Don’t try to play both sides – they’re libel to find out and make you the quisling. Be honest with both about the situation and your feelings about it.
    If they’re truly your friends, they’ll appreciate the chance to be heard and any amount of validation or support, and if not, you’re only out of an energy sapping relationship that very likely would have imploded in time anyway.

  2. Fred Mills says:

    To wit, and to return to A.C.’s question, sorta: The times I’ve found myself tusslin’ with a fellow scribe have invariably been related to old baggage. For example, recently an editor who replaced another editor and in turn decided he didn’t need my services for the alt-weekly any more wound up applying for work at the, uh, magazine I was the managing editor for. WTF?!? Should I blackball him, embrace him as my brutha, or hack his blog?

    I did none of the above. I simply gave my current editor in chief the facts and left it to him to decide what to do. [Ethicists Update: the dude who wanted to write for us bailed after he found out what we could afford to pay. He was already getting paid by the alt-weekly for the same content he was offering us anyway.] But yeah, now THAT would have been a problem, to have to work with someone who’d fucked you over. That said, it occurs in the corporate workplace, and sometimes you have no choice. Why should the roccrit world be different?

    Well, Darwin, because we’re supposed to be a different breed from the corporate types, right?

    Wish it were true. But journalists seem to have innate petty/territorial streaks. Probably worse than the average secretarial pool, minus the big tit-versus-little-tit one-upwomanship stuff that goes on. Just ask anyone who’s ever watched the jockeying for position in Austin when so-and-so Rock Critic Legend comes down from a panel podium and is surrounded by would-be sycophants. It’s comical. Take notes, and watch the territorial wars and office upheavals that follow over the next few years.

    I think I’ll get implants. (How’s that for answering the question?) Oh, and then I’ll play both sides.

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