Have you noticed that some people will try to pass off your hindsight as their foresight?
When you present them with the results of an action, they claim to have predicted the outcome all along. If you tried something that didn’t work or learned something through experience, they’ll respond:
“Well, I knew that.” (No, they didn’t)
“I told you that would happen.” (No, they didn’t.)
“I could have told you that.” (Then why didn’t you? Because you didn’t know.)
It’s easy for them to claim to have known the facts beforehand after the facts were just handed to them on a silver platter. These people have to be right. They have to look like they’re in the know. Sometimes they’ll even contradict themselves–what they claim they told you is exactly the opposite of what they did tell you.
As an author I have to make a lot of decisions affecting the success of a book. It’s great when I have history, experience or expert advice upon which to base a decision, but sometimes I don’t. Often outcome is unpredictable; there’s no way to know if something will work until I try it. Some times it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
When people who don’t have clue or aren’t in the publishing industry tell me after the fact they knew something wouldn’t work or that it would work and I could have been successful sooner if only I’d listened them, well, it’s annoying.
Has this ever happened to you? What’s your Pet Peeve related to writing, publishing, or reading?