3. The person who determines what a writer should do for others is the writer, not you. Why? Well, quite obviously, because it’s not your life, and you don’t get a say. And if you’re somehow under the impression that well, yeah, actually you do have a say in that writer’s life, take the following quiz:
Think of your favorite writer. Now, are you:
1. That writer?
2. That writer’s spouse (or spousal equivalent)?
3. Rather below that, a member of that writer’s immediate family?
4. Rather below that, the writer’s editor or boss?
If the answer is “no” to the above, then guess what? You don’t get a vote. And if you still assume you do, that writer is perfectly justified in being dreadfully rude to you. I certainly would be. I certainly have been, when someone has made such assertions or assumptions. And if necessary, I will be happy to be so again.
UPDATE: Here's Glenn Reynold's video interview with author John Scalzi.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects