An innocent tweet from a fan to Outlander writer Diana Gabaldon might have landed her in some hot water. We have to ask, are people overreacting?
Most Outlander fans know writer Diana Gabaldon has a huge social media following. She is very active on her Twitter and Facebook pages and is known for replying back to fans. This is really unheard of when it comes to literary writers. Most have social media managers handle that kind of stuff. J.K. Rowling being the major exception–and the same is true of Gabaldon.
Friday morning Diana Gabaldon was answering back some tweets from fans, and one, in particular, might’ve landed in some trouble. An innocent tweet from the fan about going to college. An aspiring writer tweeted Diana looking for advice on a major and college. What Diana wrote back ruffled some feathers.
Here’s what she said.
I get it. It’s not a great look. Saying the only jobs available for English majors is in the foodservice industry is insulting–not the mention it trades on the stereotype that to work in food service is somehow an unworthy profession.
But is she wrong? In 2016, CNN Money reported many fine arts degree holders have low starting salaries over other new graduates, and many take lower-paying jobs that don’t need a college degree. And unlike 30-40 years ago, when such jobs were ones viewed as the sorts of things that were temporary, nowadays, they can be lifelong careers.
People also took issue with Gabaldon with what they thought was a slight to trade workers. I can see how many could perceive that, but I don’t think that was her intention. She was directly answering a question from a young person who is thinking about becoming a writer.
Gabaldon did explain further that getting an English degree doesn’t hurt your chances at making money you just don’t necessarily need them. Since self-publishing has been made so easy, gone are the days where publishers look for writers with English degrees.
At the end of the day, Diana Gabaldon was trying to say was that if you want to be a writer, then you write. You don’t necessarily have to have a degree in English to do that. I think people are making this into a bigger deal than what it really needs to be.
Granted her delivery may have been a little uncouth, but at the same time, you have to realize that Twitter does not lend itself to a thorough dialog. You try to get your point across as succinct as possible. Sometimes you miss the mark. More times than not she is spot on.
Drop in on the comments section and tell us what you think about the Twitter brouhaha with Diana Gabaldon.