I wanted to reblog Amelia’s post about this, found HERE, but WordPress made that look a jumble mess, so I’m going to post about it with a link instead. So, please read Amelia’s post before reading mine.

As an incredibly new author and one who didn’t necessarily know if she was going to even attempt to attend GRL (and still isn’t sure), I saw one comment that made a lot of sense to me. An author named Daniel (sorry, I’ve forgotten the last name!) suggested that if they’d wanted to give those 30 authors the readers requested a heads-up, they could have sent them all personal messages saying, “We’ve been alerted that readers very much want you at this con. This is the day and time registration opens, it’s first come, first serve, but we and your readers would really love to see you there!” I thought that was a decent comment on a possible solution to this situation.

From the outside looking in, the main problem seemed to be the communication of the changes. The newsletter was so poorly worded that it’s kind of amazing. The clarification was worded much, much better and it probably would have gone over better as an initial communication about the topic. It is kind of a shame that they didn’t release that the wording of the first was so…problematic. (Although, the bit in the clarification post about how important it is to keep the stress levels of the better known authors–who have most likely attended plenty of cons–at a low level is kind of hilariously off-putting, too. I mean, newbie authors are super busy people as well, probably holding down a day job still, running a family, and trying to write/market; not to mention they are also probably a whole lot more stressed about attending a con situation for the first time–much more stressed than a well-known author who has been to many.)

I think they knew quite well that a kerfuffle was going to come of it, otherwise their original newsletter probably wouldn’t have needed a multi-paragraph reminder that they are all volunteers and do this for the love of it and please, for the love of God, don’t crucify us.

I, for one, am not upset or angry. I feel like I’m watching it from a bird’s eye view because I didn’t have a dog in the fight, so to speak. From the outside looking in, they just really bungled the communication side of things, imho. This could have been avoided by seriously thinking through how to present this whole thing. I wonder if the person who penned the “must-have author” line spent the day in bed with covers over their heads yesterday, because I’m quite sure the hurt feelings that came out of that were something he/she never intended.

Anyway, it’s an interesting mess. I’m curious how it will play out. I haven’t decided if I will attempt to attend or not. It’s in driving distance for me which makes it appealing, but as a newbie author who is already a socially anxious person, this kerfuffle has made it look like a pretty scary thing to attempt. Maybe since I’m so stressed about it they could give me a pre-registration time and hold my hand through all the steps of the process? Just kidding.

***

After their clarification, which can be found here, I have to admit that while some logical part of me understands what they are attempting, I’m still not sure I agree with what they’ve chosen to do. Regardless, being a Libra with social anxiety issues, I very much want to give them the benefit of the doubt and be fair to them, but, like Amelia, my triggers were pushed hard here. Like her, there were tears. Not because I won’t be a special invited person, I already knew that, but because I was able to imagine the grueling, exhausting, emotional let-down of it all so clearly. Like her, I’m anxious about attending now. I had been moderately excited and now I just feel dread–and certainty that if I even try to register I won’t ‘make it’ because there are only 30 spots I qualify for anyway.

It’s pretty disappointing. I’m…at an emotional loss with it all. Though, as I said, I’m still waiting to see how it all shakes out.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “GRL from a Socially Anxious Newbie Perspective

  1. I think the drama scared me more than the policy itself (though it was an incredibly bad way to word the policy.) I had been looking forward to this thing where I could relax and have fun and not be Mom and Wife for a few days for the first time in 6+ years and suddenly there was drama and hurt feelings and an overall tone of social stratification that was sure to hit me right in the anxieties. Hopefully the feeling will pass.

    1. Yeah, I’m hopeful, too. I still mostly want to go, I think? LOL! As I said in an email to you, if I managed to get registered with so few spots available, it still seems like a decent place to get my feet wet, and the price is right since I wouldn’t have to fly anywhere. BTW, I’m thinking I’ll attend the Rainbow Con in March 2014 if I can get registered there. If either of us can’t get into the GRL thing this year due to limited spaces, I’d love to see you at Rainbow Con next year, maybe?

  2. Oh goodness, all of us Libras and our worries about the fairness and hurt feelings of it all! 🙂 (However, what social anxiety I had is now well-controlled by my medication, though I still remember and understand the feeling intimately.)

    Like you, I agree that the clarification was MUCH better-worded, and that they should have released IT first. It feels like they didn’t spend much time writing out their initial announcement. You would think that they’d have it prepared and proofread and pored over multiple times before announcing it, but it really does feel very rushed. I hope that they can take this lesson and apply it to future announcements.

    1. Sorry that I took so long to reply! Working and then writing and childcare and yadda. 🙂 Oh, yes, all of us Libras are always concerned about fairness. 🙂 Love it.

      Like you, I agree that the clarification was MUCH better-worded, and that they should have released IT first.

      Yes, it was still not entirely awesome, but it was much better worded. It was sure to cause a furor regardless, but it at least wasn’t as offensive. LOL!

      I hope that they can take this lesson and apply it to future announcements.

      Me too! 🙂

  3. It’s definitely a complicated situation and I can see both sides. I certainly think GRL misspoke by saying there is a “must-have author” list, as opposed to anyone misreading that statement. Right now it feels like when Coach apologized to Tami on Friday Night Lights by saying, “I’m sorry you’re mad at me.” 😀 At the end of the day, people simply don’t like being excluded or made to feel lesser. I do believe that wasn’t the intention at all, but it was the result thanks to badly chosen words and poor communication, and GRL should own that and not insist there was a misreading.

    I’m watching from an outside perspective since I wasn’t able to attend this year and didn’t have a dog in the race. But this was the first year this con was really on my radar and that I’d considered attending since I’d heard so many great things. It seems to me that when interest is growing exponentially, to cut down the author slots from 130 to 100 is counterintuitive. I’m sure there are many logistics that go into planning and running a con, and that there’s a lot to juggle, to say the least.

    They’ve said that if they make the con bigger, readers will have to pay more. But if there are more attendees, does that not pay for the added cost of a bigger venue, etc.? I honestly don’t know the answer, but logically I’d think that if the demand is there to expand the con, the money would follow in the form of more registration fees and whatnot. But if that’s not the case and they have to keep it small, that’s fine. It’s too bad they phrased it so poorly.

    It does make me chuckle that they say they’re trying to save the pre-invited authors the stress of scrambling to register, while saying in the next breath that no one is elite or being given preferential treatment. I completely understand the reasoning for wanting to ensure big name authors will be at the con, but of course that’s preferential treatment. I don’t think anyone wants to deal with the stress of scrambling to register! Heh.

    1. It’s definitely a complicated situation and I can see both sides.

      Me, too.

      I certainly think GRL misspoke by saying there is a “must-have author” list, as opposed to anyone misreading that statement.

      IKR? LOL! Geez. And I don’t think “apologize” means what they think it means. 🙂

      Right now it feels like when Coach apologized to Tami on Friday Night Lights by saying, “I’m sorry you’re mad at me.”

      Exactly. I’ve as yet to see them do better than that, either.

      . It seems to me that when interest is growing exponentially, to cut down the author slots from 130 to 100 is counterintuitive.

      Yeah, especially when the reality is that the so-called “reader” slots are just going to be taken up by authors. *shrug* So they aren’t really reaching new readers, you know?

      They’ve said that if they make the con bigger, readers will have to pay more. But if there are more attendees, does that not pay for the added cost of a bigger venue, etc.? I honestly don’t know the answer, but logically I’d think that if the demand is there to expand the con, the money would follow in the form of more registration fees and whatnot.

      I would think so, but obviously don’t know for sure.

      It does make me chuckle that they say they’re trying to save the pre-invited authors the stress of scrambling to register, while saying in the next breath that no one is elite or being given preferential treatment.

      IKR? LOL! It’s like, “Their stress matters, your stress? Not so much.”

      I completely understand the reasoning for wanting to ensure big name authors will be at the con, but of course that’s preferential treatment.

      Yes, they’d do better to just admit that, I think, instead of denying it and saying everyone who is complaining is just being crazy.

  4. I attended GRL 2011 and 2012. Had a BLAST in 2011, mostly because the event was very informal and unstructured. There were a few group meals and a book signing/riverboat cruise, but aside from that, authors and readers were encouraged to mix freely and make their own fun.

    In 2012, a lot of things changed. Gone was the informal atmosphere that made the first con so unique. Everything was scheduled – panels, publisher spotlights, meals, etc. The book signing was spectacularly unorganized, with members of the con committee hogging plum spots near the door while the rest of us were told to sit wherever we wanted – which meant that many readers couldn’t find some of the authors they wanted to talk to.

    And this year… *facepalms* I’m flabbergasted that the con committee – all of whom are WRITERS – couldn’t craft a more diplomatically worded newsletter. I don’t know who’s in charge of their PR, but they need a good editor!

    1. Sorry that I’m just now replying! Work, then writing, then childcare and yadda, you know. 🙂

      I attended GRL 2011 and 2012. Had a BLAST in 2011, mostly because the event was very informal and unstructured.

      I remember you talking about it! It sounded great!

      The book signing was spectacularly unorganized, with members of the con committee hogging plum spots near the door

      Ah, that explains some of the comments I saw asking for alphabetical order this year. *nods*

      And this year… *facepalms* I’m flabbergasted that the con committee – all of whom are WRITERS – couldn’t craft a more diplomatically worded newsletter. I don’t know who’s in charge of their PR, but they need a good editor!

      It was a mess! I agree. What a poor choice of wording. *sigh*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s