What Year is It?
I remember the days leading up to my decision to write my first book. I can still feel the anxious excitement as I skimmed over the words that I would be remolding from screenplay into manuscript, the joyous fear of the unknown and the exhausted efforts in researching all the things I would need to know about the industry.
There is so much and I am still learning all the time!
There isn’t a writer out there that doesn’t begin every single work with the question:
Will anyone care what I have to say?
I’ve lost count of the rejection letters I’ve received, the harsh words from agents who offer only callous responses, ignoring how much time and effort our queries took.
Writers just want to write and more and more, between a harsh and cutthroat industry and this ridiculous cancel culture society that needs to be #cancelled itself, it makes loving our art, that much more difficult. The vulnerability it takes to release a book goes largely ignored. It can take months to years for a writer to complete a manuscript… how can anyone not see that as a huge feat is beyond me.
I do not have a full-time job to juggle, but I do have 2 children and a household to manage and believe me… that shit is FULL-TIME in itself… and yet I still am driven to write because it is something I truly love to do and have loved to do for as long as I can remember. You have to have a thick skin to live in this realm but lately, it's become this other monster that is forcing many authors to question if they even want to continue writing at all.
THIS IS NOT OK!
There is so much that has to happen in order for a work to be published so much that has to go right before even getting to that moment. Blood, sweat, tears… more sweat, more tears.
And then rejection, upon rejection. Which only means to a writer…
We look at traditionally published authors and sure, they have new struggles of their own, but we see them and think... I WANT that struggle! I would much rather have that and at least know that people take us seriously as “real” authors.
However, I learned a valuable lesson this week. I was listening to Rea Frey’s WriteWay podcast and after watching Adrienne Young's stories on instagram, what they said about the very industry I have been working hard to get into for years blew my mind. I’ve hung my worth on the idea that I needed the validation, but seeing how it chews up and spits out authors, how this machine tells them what will sell, changes their work and then takes a huge portion of the profit and for what?
Because you distribute? Because you market? Sure, that’s important… but at what cost to the author? How much do they really go to bat for the talent behind that book they put on the shelf?
Do they stand behind the author who is being trolled by faceless people on the internet who look for reasons to cancel people? Do they stay up at night with their authors worrying over sales or do they just see them as a number and toss them aside when they don’t perform like a show pony?
We should never feel lost in the one area we used to feel was the only place we truly belonged. Nobody should have the power to take that away… no one should ever be able to steal the passion from your life.
And what people don’t seem to grasp, is the beauty of subjectivity… the idea of learning from another perspective. It may not be the same as yours, it may give you a little light bulb moment or it may rub you the wrong way… does it make it wrong?
NO! That is what life is all about!
We need to learn to give a little more grace. Be a little less reactive and judgmental and allow people to have opinions and thoughts (that have zero ill intent I might add) without fear. And at the very least, we can have a conversation before deciding this person needs to be shut out completely.
Either be brave enough to create something yourself or stop trying to control art.
What a bland world that would be.