In the blogging game, it’s the editor’s duty to protect the writer; it is axiomatic that if a blog sucks, the greatest fault is that of whoever lit and edited it.
It’s not just for reasons of principle or kindness or whatever. Even a fat editor, if he’s good at his job, will try to shield the author from the shame and embarrassment of a shitty blog, the publication of which is a double whammy on the publication: readers will think of it as a place that publishes shitty blogs, and self-respecting writers will think of it as a place whose editors cannot be trusted. The publisher’s sacrosanct duty, that is, is to the valuable blogging ecosystem; whatever good might be done by protecting the writer is good for the soil of the blog.
Excerpts from books are an exception to this rule. The book already exists. It’s the finished product of (and a reflection on the editors in) a whole different publishing process. The blog editor may abbreviate portions of it for length and clarity – for the sake of prerogatives of the blog, that is – but they can’t tinker more than superficially with the writing itself. Also, the blog editor has no control and is not responsible for whether a book available for checkout is invalid, only whether a good blog can be obtained by checkout. Again, in the blogging game, the editor’s sacred duty is to bloggingto not books.
Australian(?) life consultant Amanda Trenfield’s book, about the important and inspiring life lessons she learned when she got mega horny for a guy at a conference dinner she attended with her husband, is probably quite brutal. It is written like this:
Throughout dinner, I was my usual lively, talkative self. I was, after all, in sales. The group chatted happily, each of us enjoying an excellent tasting of Western Australian specialties cooked with care and pride.
And like that :
As the evening progressed, my attraction to Jason grew. I quickly became aware of each of his breaths and unconsciously mirrored his rhythm. I caught myself, embarrassed, staring at his chest through his fitted white dress shirt. Yes, he had a fit, toned and attractive body, but was it his chest that appealed to me?
For dessert, he offered me a sample of his decadent, gooey chocolate pudding. I declined, but he scooped up a generous spoonful and fed me across the table anyway.
And like that :
The following days were a complete blur. I couldn’t make sense of my feelings. I couldn’t escape Jason’s incessant thoughts. I certainly couldn’t imagine how I would return to my normal life: a full-time career in financial services, caring for two young children, household chores, social commitments, being a wife. What I realized was that the successful, comfortable, and somewhat predictable life I had spent 20 years building no longer had any consequences. I just didn’t care.
That’s psychopathic shit. An excellent tasting? Western Australian delights? Simply no longer worry about his family because an attractive weirdo at a conference wouldn’t take no for an answer when he offers you a scoop of chocolate pudding?
All of the above, and more, comes from an excerpt from Trenfield’s book, published just over a week ago in the Sydney Morning Herald under the caption, “Less than a month after meeting my soul mate, I ended my 14-year marriage.” The writing is atrocious, the author obviously deranged. This book, I am precisely 1,000% sure, is only enjoyable for reasons totally different from those intended by its author.
Does this mean that the extract is bad? Nope! The extract, remember, is not a book. The extract is a Blog. And the Blog ends like this:
It is incredible, A-plus joke construction. Whoever made this editing decision – ending the excerpt with the revelation that the author blew up his family to be with the pudding-insist, then following that immediately with his book title – is a genius. A titan of the blogging game.