Posted by: Trisha Leigh | June 22, 2011

Things I Learned From Batman (Part 2)

Disclaimer: I am not, in any way, shape, or form an expert on all things Batman. I’ve never read the comics but I have seen all the movies, so just go with me here. (hint: the Batman part isn’t the actual focus of these posts).

2. Secrets (like evil arch-enemies) have a way of coming back to haunt you.

Bruce Wayne is not terribly good at keeping secrets. If we’re being honest, he kind of sucks at it. Clark Kent has that crap down.

Pretty much every girl Bruce dates ends up being privy to his secret. Alfred knows. Robin figures it out without too much trouble, and he wasn’t even all that bright. If I’m not mistaken, more than one of Batman’s enemies figures out his not-so-secret identity.

The reason? Everyone needs people who know who they really are, are aware of all their dirty little secrets, but love and support them anyway. We have these people in our lives, hopefully. Family. Spouses. Children. Friends. Critique partners. It’s lonely without the people who love us no matter what.

Back to my main point, which is secret keeping (and I’ll wander a little further, if you’ll indulge me). I’ve learned a few things since making a serious effort at becoming a published author two years ago. Not even close to everything, but some things.

The most important, as far as I’m concerned, is this:

Publishing is a very small world. People attend the same conferences and conventions. New Yorkers in particular hang out at the same bookstores for signings, have lunch together, often attend readings. It is also possible that the stereotype of drinking writers is true, and we all know what alcohol does to secrets.

This can be a good thing, and is a good thing (Not the drinking thing. The small world thing). Authors support one another, literary agents and editors put themselves out on the internet and offer advice (and hilarity) free of charge. We connect with critique partners and beta readers and cheerleaders, all important.

You know when it’s bad? When you say something you shouldn’t. If you talk behind people’s backs, there’s a very good chance they’ll hear about it sooner or later. If you lie about your experience, whether or not your manuscript is complete, or how many times you’ve revised, people will know (not to mention you’ll make yourself crazy having to lie to cover up your lie to justify your lie).

My personal least favorite?

Pushing other people down while you’re stepping on their face in the mud so you can climb to the top. I’ve never understood trying to make someone look bad so you can look better. There’s enough pie for everyone who deserves a piece.

Batman/Bruce Wayne keeps battling the same villains (sometimes the ones inside himself, and sometimes a human-esque menace). They pop up everywhere. Secrets, and lies, and meanness is like that too. You can’t hide them, not forever, and when they emerge all they’ll do is come after you, like the Joker pursues Batman with total destruction in mind.

Be careful. Protect your reputation, make friends, be happy for people. Not only because you should, but because publishing is full of wonderful folks who love the good things in life.

Books, and reading, and stories. Laughter. And of course, whiskey.

Friday: There are two sides to every coin, a.k.a. the internet.

What I’m watching right this minute: Wimbledon (recorded this morning) YAY TENNIS GO ANDY RODDICK!

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Responses

  1. Amen. What’s that quote? “Be nice to the people you meet on your way up–they’re the same ones you’ll meet on your way back down.” Or something like that.


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