So-Called Self-Help Gurus are So Annoying

So-Called Self-Help Gurus are So Annoying

Annoying, in this case, means arrogant, self-righteous slime balls.

I used to be a huge fan of self-help paths. Whether it was confidence or body image, artistry or writing, or anything in between, I’d go buy the book and give it a try, hoping it would better my life. I have to say that many of these programs really did help me. They are what you put into them for sure, and books like The Artist’s Way and The Four Agreements really aided me in getting through tough times and becoming a stronger person and writer.

However, once I started to get to know self-help authors (not the above ones, mind you)—whether via work, free teleclasses they offered, or otherwise—I came to realize that most of what I was being fed was sheer bull. Much of it was simply the same stuff passed on and re-written as something new (much like many people have complained about The Secret simply being The Law of Attraction).

Many of these people were complete frauds. Some thought they were really helping others when their messages were quite the contrary. Some hired others to do their work and simply took credit for it—and while I know that ghostwriting is “all the rage” these days, with even YA lit writers and James Patterson taking advantage of it, if I buy something, I want it to come straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak (especially if it costs big bucks). And as a professional writer, I think that anyone who does engage in ghostwriting should both A. share his or her profits fairly for the material sold, and B. provide credit for the writing completed. I can hear the ghostwriters among us chuckling already; that’s not going to happen.

These people, these so-called experts who claim to know how to live better than you do, and will diagnose you and your family with anything they can to get you on board without even knowing you—without even speaking to a person!—also have similar irritating habits. One that I’ve noticed is how they try to trick you all of the time with their wording, their empty promises, and their sales pages. They lie; that’s no surprise. But they also condense their writing into narrow paragraphs to make it seem shorter so you’ll continue reading, which is just incredibly annoying to anyone who reads for pleasure or to even get news. I have discussed this with several other writers, and we’ve all unsubscribed from any and all newsletters that are designed in this dumb-you-down fashion.

They also make the same stupid noises. Have you noticed this? It’s usually a noise like “Mmmm,” like they’re buzzing bugs, or maybe savoring a piece of cake; sometimes, however, it’s “Ahhh,” or, also often, “I love that!” Ugh. Be original, will you? And stop buzzing in my ear.