In this essay, Almond talks about his students disparaging published writers. Mainly out of fear and insecurity and a lack of respect for the writing process. It basically comes down to empathy for other human beings who are involved in the process. Everyone should read other people’s work carefully and understand that it was another human being who made it, and we all have the same goals in mind as writers—making good work that reaches an audience. Here’s an excerpt:
It might sound like I’m describing “snark” here. But while the Problem of Entitlement and the Problem of Snark are related, they’re not the same.
Snark is a conscious attempt to cast aspersion for narcissistic reward. Writers who use social media, or other public forums, to dis other writers are seeking to convert resentment into attention. It’s a tool of self-promotion.
Entitlement operates at a more basic and often unconscious level. It’s a kind of defensive snobbery, a delusion that the world and its constituent parts—whether a product or a piece of art or a loved one—exist to please you.
Americans as a whole have become more entitled as we’ve become more deeply immersed in consumer culture, with its insidious credo: The customer is always right.