I’m Entitled?

I’ve got two winners to announce, thanks to the Random Number Generator. (I love it so! I could just kiss it!)

1335816The winner of the $15 Amazon gift card to purchase Under the Mermaid Angel by Martha Moore is

Andy of City Jackdaw!

Andy, congratulations! I checked Amazon UK. The book is available! Your card will be in pounds.

NEWCOVER-199x300The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card to purchase Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta and The Color of Rain by Cori McCarthy is

Beatthemtodeathwiththeirownshoes!

Congrats, beatthemtodeathwiththeirownshoes (John). Um, hopefully you can confirm with your email address and whether or not you require Amazon UK as well. (You mentioned having trouble commenting lately.) Please comment below or catch me at lmarie7b(at)gmail(dot)com.

On with the show. . . .

Why the post title? Well, let me start by taking you way back to fifth grade. My good friend Nathaniel had a habit of blurting out in class, “Somebody farted!” Everyone would giggle, while our teacher, Mrs. Nave, frowned and yelled for quiet.

Back then, we had the whoever-smelt-it-dealt-it rule. Meaning, if you called attention to it, you were the culprit. And that was generally true of Nathaniel. Since he was the class clown, he was quick to point the finger at someone else, even when he was the culprit.

The other day I read this post at Lisa Kramer’s blog. You have to read the post to know the issue. I was incensed at the demands some of her students made and even commented that the demands smacked of entitlement.

After that, I couldn’t help noticing my own entitlement issues. If I could readily judge someone else’s issue, I surely have a similar problem. Whoever smelt it, dealt it, right?

Right. Anger is the first sign that I have an attitude of entitlement. I’ve been Princess Pouty lately. (I can’t take credit for that appellation. If you’re a fan of the Avatar series, you know that Zuko was called Prince Pouty in an episode.) In fact, the cat in this photo reminds me of me—the stance and expression, rather than the caption.

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As embarrassing as it is to admit to my faults—my demand for an expected outcome in each situation—I need to own up to them, rather than pull a “Nathaniel” or act Pharisaical as I point the finger at someone else. So here they are in all of their dismal glory.

The blog. If I write a post, I am entitled to readers, especially readers who comment. I’m sighing and hanging my head at this one. It’s all part of the “If you write it, they will come” field of dreams. (Remember that movie?) Two weeks ago, I asked myself, If no one comments or follows this blog, will I still write blog posts? Am I writing them for comments or am I writing them because I want to write them? A good dose of reality was the key. There are so many blogs out there. The fact that anyone chooses to stop by my blog—well, that’s a tiny miracle. But no one owes me a comment, simply because I blather on.
The search for an agent. If I query a manuscript, I’m entitled to an agent’s acceptance or feedback as to why it was not accepted. After all, the world is waiting for this manuscript! Actually, the world is waiting for the next Hobbit movie or the new Plants vs. Zombies videogame. (I know I am!) Yet the anger I feel when I hear “no” or whenever I don’t hear back from an agent points to entitlement. I can hear some veterans of the querying process chuckling and whispering, “Naïve much?” Ha ha! Yeah. I read a comment by an agent at a blog post, which in short stated, “Get over it! Act professional. Learn from the rejection.” Wise words.
The job search. If I apply for a job, I’m entitled to it, especially if I’m qualified or more than qualified for it. Even I can’t help giggling at that attitude, even after growling at employers who passed up my applications.
The left lane. If I’m driving in the left lane, those who drive slower than me should automatically get over and let me go on my merry way. The road rage I frequently indulge in is always a sure sign of the attitude.
Prayer. Whatever I ask for, I should get, especially if I have a good reason for asking. Oh man do I have this bad.

The list goes on and on. Truth hurts sometimes. But the fact that this list took all of two seconds to compile shows that I needed to face the truth and put aside Princess Pouty.

Please don’t think for one minute that I am holding up a mirror for anyone else. The only mirror I’m holding up is compact size. In other words, I usually air my own dirty laundry.

Now, aren’t you glad you stopped by the blog today? Don’t worry. You’re under no obligation to leave a comment. (Well, John and Andy have to, in order to confirm.) I’m tearing up my “titles.” Ya get it? Entitlement? Titles? Guess I’d better add to the list above. (I’m entitled to laughter at my bad puns.)

Cat from LOL Cats.

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39 thoughts on “I’m Entitled?

  1. I totally hear you on the blog readers point! I have to keep reminding myself that that’s not how it works at all! And like you say, even if I only get some likes or maybe one or two comments, that’s probably more than some bloggers get!

  2. I am actually obligated to comment first to say thank you for linking to my post. But I also wanted to say that (except perhaps for the road rage thing) I don’t know that your attitude is completely about entitlement. To me the hope that people comment and/or that at the very least you get a response from an agent comes from a (perhaps outdated) idea that if you interact with someone then that person should respond. Well, maybe that doesn’t apply to blog posts, but in a world where more people seem to communicate only through comments on random pieces of writing, its not surprising when a talented writer might expect a little comment love. To me, the thing about entitlement is this idea that my students’ time is somehow more precious or valuable than my time–and from there comes all the unreasonable requests. I got some new ones yesterday from a student who added the class late: 1) his name didn’t immediately appear in the Blackboard program so he insisted I fix this (not within my realm of ability–that’s a technology issue) and 2) he worried that he would be penalized for late work (my response, not as long as you get it in ASAP–I mean I’m not the one who signed up for the class late). I think entitlement implies no consideration that other people have lives. [Sorry for the extra long comment . . . I know you have nothing better to do than to read rants from me. ;)]

    • Thanks, Lisa. Oh my. Wow. You have some “interesting” students. I’m sorry about that. It makes me wonder how they will get through life. A rude awakening is sure to follow. Or perhaps not. Some people whose nerve is bold as brass seem to escape life’s lessons.

      I agree with you to a point about my alleged entitlement. You see, I know myself. When I get mad and throw a tantrum, to me that seems to suggest an expectation that crosses the line. People communicate through comments, yes, but they’re not obligated to communicate at all, just because I wrote a post. We all lead busy lives. When I think of the many, many exceptional writers whose blogs I’ve followed and for whom I never once offered a word of acknowledgment, well, I can’t help seeing my hypocrisy. Perhaps hypocrisy is a better term?

      • I love reading your blog. (and I haven’t missed one yet) Unfortunately, I rarely have much to say (in public). Hence the reason I don’t write a blog.

  3. Congratulations to the winners! Oh, L. Marie, you had me cracking up with “whoever-smelt-it-dealt-it rule,” that takes me back to elementary school. Do you ever wonder what happened to Nathaniel?

    “The fact that anyone chooses to stop by my blog—well, that’s a tiny miracle.” I feel the exact same way.

    • I was wondering the same thing, Jill. My guess is that he turned out totally hot and I missed an opportunity. That’s what happened with a guy from my third grade class. We went to different high schools. A friend saw him and reported back. (She also was in that third grade class.)

  4. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting feedback for your efforts. I think it only becomes an issue when it’s the ONLY reason we do something. I think many of your fellow bloggers can relate!

    BTW, I feel you on that left lane thing… ARGH!!#$!($*!#%@#

  5. The way the search engines work, boosting more frequently updated pages, it’s actually true that “if you blog it, they will come.” The big problem, though, for a blog with a single author is balancing frequent updating with burnout. So don’t burn out, because I love your blog!

  6. It’s funny you should bring this up, as I’ve been thinking the same thing about my blog. Because of Summer (I’m assuming that is the reason, anyway) my stats have gone way down, and I’ve been re-evaluating whether it’s worth the effort I put in. In the end, though, I have to say that I write it because I myself enjoy the process, and every now and then, a reader will be touched, remember long lost memory, or simply is happy to learn. It’s nice when I hear feedback, but I’m now sure that it’s worth the effort, for myself.
    Of course, that said, I’ve decided to write weekly, instead of daily, posts when I hit the one year mark. I still get to enjoy what I like doing, but I also get to experience parts of my life that I somehow put on the burner because I’m working on a post.
    L. Marie, I enjoy your posts very much, and I would miss it if you were not blogging any more. I don’t give feedback as often as I “should”, but I’m enjoying your blog!
    Have a great week-end! 🙂

    • I hope you know that I so admire you and the effort your blog takes. Honestly, when I read your blog, I actually feel smarter. You remind me of the great and terrible deeds that have been done in history. So, thank you for all that you do!!!

      • Wow, thank you so much for the kind words .. I really appreciate that! That is the perfect thought to read as I close for the night! Thank you! 🙂

  7. I’ve been thinking about your post all day, Linda. I think you have to balance feeling entitled on one hand with feeling as if you don’t deserve anything on the other. If you don’t feel entitled to anything, you may not stand up for what you deserve and end up getting taken advantage of. It’s happened to me several times and is a major problem among freelancers in general.

  8. Like Lyn, I’ve been thinking about this post since I read it yesterday morning. You are a person who gives a lot, Linda, and some of the things you talked about (feeling like you are entitled to responses on the blog or from agents, for instance) seem like situations in which you’re putting forth a lot (comments on lots of other people’s blogs, time in which you write your posts, revise your manuscripts, perfect your query, etc.). I know when I feel like I am offering a whole lot, I’m certainly susceptible to feeling quite let down if I don’t get much back. It makes sense to break down our reactions and recognize that we can’t always expect to get back something that feels proportionate to what we put in, so thanks for encouraging me to do that. But at the same time, I think Lyn is absolutely right about the need to recognize that you do deserve a whole lot!!!!!

    • Interesting take, Laurie and Linda. I don’t know that this has so much to do with feeling entitled (as far as blog posts and queries go, at least) and the desire/need for validation. I want to know that what I am doing has value because sometimes it just doesn’t seem like doing it for me is enough. (Oh, that sounds greedy doesn’t it?) As a mom and part time doorrmat (you remember that discussion Linda), I need someone to tell occasionally that I matter and that what I love to do matters outside of my own head.

      Can’t help you with the left lane problem though. That smacks of entitlement 😉

      • I’m definitely awful about the left lane, Nancy. But I hear you about wanting validation, especially from your family! And yes, I recall that conversation!

  9. Titles. LOL I love me a good pun. 🙂 This is a great post! Entitled you may not be, but I’d be willing to bet you wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t feel it was what you were supposed to be doing. 🙂

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