I received an interesting tweet this morning. Not the nicest tweet, mind you, of even the most polite. But I'm used to the occasional sniping from the peanut gallery, as that's the deal I made when I decided to go into media. Usually, I ignore it. This time, I won't. Here's what showed up in my tweetstream:
@carmilevy Do you ever work, or have you become another talking head?
I had tweeted earlier in the morning that I was going to be doing a radio interview. I'm guessing this missive from someone who likely ought to know better was in response to that note.
Here's the deal: Anyone who knows me knows that I do interviews like this - on radio, on television and in print - fairly frequently. Doing so helps raise awareness among editors and it makes it easier for me to secure writing work. Oh, and I love the process. Live radio and television is like working without a safety net. You're totally on, totally in the moment, and totally in the hands of professionals hundreds of miles away who you may have never even met. It's as unreal an experience as you can imagine, and I get to do it on a regular basis. And not a day goes by that I don't count my lucky stars that this is what I do, that doing so opens doors to me and my family that would otherwise have remained slammed shut.
So, to answer your question, oh misguided tweeter, yes, I do work. Fairly often. Fairly hard. Fairly non-stop. Like now, as I settle in for a long night of writing before tucking in for a few hours, then waking long before dawn for another round of pre-breakfast interviews and research. Then it's off to the office for the day before I return home and start the cycle again.
Because this is how I market myself, build my brand, build my future for me and my family. I'd invite you to look over my shoulder and see just how much I work, how far beyond "talking head" this work is, how much effort it takes to achieve any of this and how profoundly I enjoy the privilege of journalists across the country calling me - silly, backward ballcap-wearing, bike-riding, irreverent me - for my opinion, but I'm guessing its easier for you to zing the occasional slice of snark into my tweetstream because I figure this is infinitely more entertaining for you than, oh, being nice.
I can probably go back into the archives and pick out at least a dozen or so similarly themed messages from you. I've ignored them all to-date, probably because, shockingly, you're a friend of my extended family, because I figured it wasn't worth raising a fuss over. But today I've chosen not to. And I realize I'm probably overreacting, probably making more of it than I should, probably missing the brilliance of your apparent humor.
Or maybe you're just being a dick. Either way, stop it. Because considering how little free time I have these days - working, you know - I have absolutely no patience for dicks.