So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

07 February, 2012

A is for Authorship and Authority

Today, my first book went on sale. (So if any of the people who said they wanted to know when I got something published are still following this blog, there it is.)

There's something about having a book out that makes me feel like a grownup. As if, up until this point, I was just another amateur kicking around chewing the fat about religion, and now, all of a sudden, I'm filed as The One With The Information. Or at least some information.

It's a little uncomfortable, as a feeling. It's not like the fact that I study this stuff in depth hasn't gotten me a few people who wanted to fling themselves at me and take me as their guru or something. It doesn't matter that I'm not looking for disciples, there are a few people who'll come at me with the "You're so smart! You know so much! I am pathetic and low! Take me on!"

(If you are pathetic and low, I don't want you.)

I mean, yes, there's something there that I think is valuable; if I didn't think that I wouldn't have spent years researching, writing, and putting together the thing. I think it's got a lot of information, and I think a lot of the information is pretty good.

But I'm still just a person. A person who wrote a book and sold the publishing rights to it, yes, but a person. The skills I used to put together the book are skills that people in general can acquire. The books I read to do the research for it are books that people in general can read (though honestly it takes a certain amount of monomania to get through a few of them). The fact that I did all that makes me something of an authority as well as making me an author.

But you, out there, you're your own critical authority too. You have responsibility to evaluate the books you read, not just venerate them and their authors. You get to figure out what works for you.

I can't do your work.

1 comment:

Aquaeri said...

Congratulations! And best of luck finding people to share knowledge with.