Today was a nice day, the first true taste of spring this year. I met an old friend, a former journalist, for a late lunch and was surprised to see that people were sitting outside on the patio of the restaurant. We went inside to one of the back booths in order to get a little more privacy.
My friend is very interested in current politics and told me that there is going to be a big release of documents in a couple of weeks that could change the course of the election. We shall see…
We talked a lot about the miserable atmosphere at both our day jobs. The problem is that while people complain, they don’t do anything active about it when they have the chance. They certainly don’t tell the person who is offending them that there’s a problem, since, God forbid, that would give them a chance to change course. Instead they hide and then bitch afterwards, maintaining a constant state of grievance and a complete and total absence of responsibility.
I see it in my work with our professional association, where nobody wants to take any responsibility but they all sit back and criticize any action that anybody else takes. I remember a senior manager once getting frustrated and saying “this is not a play. You don’t get to just sit there and say ‘ooh, this was rather weak today.’” But that’s exactly what a lot of them do.
I’ve been thinking about how few people are really active and constructive in life, and that includes writing. I’ve gotten pretty far in a couple of writing contests lately, and it’s amazing the number of times I’ve heard “must be nice…” Well, you know what, considering that I’ve been pursuing publication seriously for two and a half years, working hard on the craft for a good eight years before that, and scribbling compulsively ever since I could hold a pen, yeah, it is nice when some of that starts to get recognition.
Inevitably, the “must be niiiice” crowd have never entered the contest in question. If they did they would find out that even a miss, near or not, feels better than sniping from the sidelines.