Monday, December 18, 2006

Possession, Obsession & Miss Snark

Super Teddy Award Series For Agents, Editors & Publishers Awarded To The Entire Blog Called:
Miss Snark
For The Obsession Of Helping Writers & For True Altruism

I always take a daily peek when I can at the blog of Miss Snark. Currently Miss Snark is running another round of her infamous Crapometer, or sometimes referred to as "crapfest". I read a bit, skim even more, and sit back in a bit of awe and yet really in doubt of this person's sanity. What possesses Miss Snark to do this? What inner motivation can such a person have?

Let us look at the facts. Miss Snark is anonymous. Personally I do not care who she is or who he is or who they are. Cause it makes no difference in the end. Wish away as much as you want to, it would be impossible to get someone named Miss Snark as your agent. Oh, you might, in your query letters, happen to query the "right" agent who just happens to be the Snark persona, but you would never know it.

So what does Miss Snark get out of this fest where she reads hooks, (over 500 of them!) from authors all around the globe, and comments on each and every one of them. Reading through her comments, if one is intelligent and aware, one can see and learn a great deal about how to write a query to an agent. So Miss Snark teaches us. I agree, she does it often in a cynical manner, often making us cringe, but in the end result it is purely altruistic. In the end result if you want to learn how to better your query - you will.

Oh, maybe you think what Miss Snark does is - she, he or they - get a great hook and then approach the author under the guise of the "real" person. I tend to doubt that very much. Cause if that happened more than just once it would be all over the internet with people comparing notes.

Hell, I wish Miss Snark would do that to me. I don't deny it. I wish she would peruse this blog, see my publishing credits, read some of them and then somehow an agent would ask me to see my work! And I also wish I could win the lottery too! But then again I didn't send anything into the Crapometer.

So what is this possession and obsession of Miss Snark? She is loved and hated. She is vilified and praised. She is nice and she can be oh-so-nasty when someone hits her funny bone. What is up with her, him, they?

My conclusion - MHO - Miss Snark is simply out there because when all is said and done, she truly believes in good writing. Maybe she has been there and done it as an author. Maybe she has too been burned. Maybe she got sick of the BS. Maybe she is not really a literary agent but someone who knows a great deal about publishing. All are possible.

I am suspicious of altruistic people - until they prove themselves. Simply because life has taught me that most people want something in return. I don't see that happening with the Snark persona. There is nothing we can give her in return except to succeed with "fine writing".

I finally realized, when all is said and done, besides her contributions to hundreds of authors struggling to find the right words, Miss Snark's real contribution, to my mind, is her devotion, determination, obsession and being possessed by the desire to help others.

In my mind that in and of itself makes Miss Snark deserving of a great big virtual hug. For doing this, for devoting time and effort, she has my full respect.

It would be good for all those who laugh and cry with her words to remember always that Miss Snark is obsessed.

May all of humankind be as obsessed with helping others in their own way half as much as Miss Snark. It would be a hell of a better world for all of us.

(For more information on the "Super Teddy Award Series For Agents, Editors & Publishers" see, "Introducing The "Super Teddy Award Series For Agents, Editors & Publishers")

Posted On: Cobwebs Of The Mind

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Anonymous said...

Ted, I'm with you, I think s/he who is Miss Snark is doing a tremendous service for writers and s/he is owed a world of thanks. I didn't send something in so it is fascinating to watch this process unfold with objectivity.

Anyone who complains ought to be ashamed of themselves. Altruism should not be criticized.

Kristen King said...

Right on. I love Miss Snark. I don't care who she is -- the advice is great and the atmosphere is fun, and what more could you want from an anonymous blog?

Anonymous said...

Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

Award Code

Thank you,

shapeshifter said...

Miss Snark maintains that she has entirely selfish motives for this project, but I really just don't believe her. Her blog is helpful enough in general, but I've realized that she must truly be obsessed with the perfection and propagation of the written word to do this Crapometer.

Miss Snark = pure Amazing.