I'm always nervous about recommending something to other people, especially to people whose opinions I respect. You know the drill, one man's wisdom is another man's cliche and all that. I'm on various yahoogroups and have pimped something I loved only for it to be shot down in flames. It makes you hesitant to speak out again in the same group, lest others begin to think less of you because your taste is so dubious and ill-matched to the vocal members of the group. Peer pressure, I guess that's what it is. I know I shouldn't worry about such things, but it's a natural human instinct to be want to be liked and included. And that instinct gets stronger when you're in the company of people you esteem highly, and to whom you feel deferential.
Then there's my internal debate about the difference between good taste [more oftn than not, what I like] and personal taste [what other people that I don't]. I've got friends who like - or even love - things I absolutely loathe. The music of Fairport Convention: gag. Friend who likes the music of Fairport Convention: great. I think it's Nick Hornby's novel of High Fidelity where the music snob protagonist is taught a lesson in distinguishing people from their personal taste. You've got to separate the people from that stuff. A lot of people whose opinion I respect rave about the current TV incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, but it's not my bag. Too serious, too poe-faced and [ironically, since I loved The West Wing] too political. But I'd like to think people don't like me less because I don't share all their preferences.
A month or three back I was hyping a screenwriting seminar by Adrian Mead being held in London on St Patrick's Day. My natural reticence to recommend made me hesitate, but I've been to two seminars Adrian has run and they're always great value. Not only is he honest and funny, he's open about elements of the business few people talk about. Go along with the right attitude and you can get a lot out of the networking opportunities, too. I'm happy to see at least half a dozen scribes who blog went along to Adrian's event on Saturday and all seem to have rated it highly. You can read reports on the seminar from Pillock's Pad, Potdoll, Lianne at Optimistic Reader, Lucy and Good Dog. Sigh. Wish I could have been there, but it wasn't to be.