on Jane Friedman site:
As an author, program librarian, and writing instructor, I’ve been thinking a lot about my responsibility as a speaker to educate versus inspire. The two go hand in hand, as they should, but I’ve noticed the tone of conference programming has changed over the years.
When I attended my first conference in 2012, programs were focused on the basics of writing and networking. Since then, conferences near me—and now online—have become more sophisticated, offering programs for seasoned writers as well as newbies. Most notably, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the state of the publishing industry has become popular, especially due to changes from the pandemic. Conversations about how to query have become focused on who not to query, the horrors of querying, the worst of the worst. That might be followed up with a discussion dedicated to rejection, in brutally honest fashion.
While warning each other is necessary—especially when it comes to predatory practices or people—I do wonder what happens when we spend too much time on the negative.