Just a minor gripe for a Friday morning – Do people understand what they sound like?

JNL-OrangeScanning around my favorite lit blogs this morning, something occurred to me.

The reason I usually skip the comments on the blogs I regularly read is not the usual internet comment peeve about anonymous nastiness, unfounded political assertions, and the like. It’s the scrambling self-promotion.

Typically, the aspiring author barely bothers to segue from the topic of the blog entry to dropping the name of his/her latest writing project. On the websites of many published writers, lit agents, and other publishing types, far too many comments read something like this:

“That’s a really important thing you just pointed out. I’m so glad that in my own book, Dark Mystic Desire, I avoided this by having the main character blah blah blah… “

What also occurred to me is that I am not entirely sure if the reason I rarely comment on these sites is (a) I don’t want to be associated by proximity with this sort of last-call-flirtation desperation, or (b) why bother when anything I have to say about the actual topic of the post will be drowned in a deluge of amateur plugs?

Or, it may be a reflection of the human instinct to avoid malady, because the commenters I’m reacting to rarely seem genuinely happy about being involved in literature. The optimism seems manic and forced. And, often, a little creepy.

A little self-promotion is necessary, but at a certain point it becomes off-putting.


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