Monday, November 23, 2009

Anything You Can Do...

Writing Status - I'm writing this blog, does that count?
Mood - Blech
Playing on ipod - A Different Kind of Christmas Card by Morten Harket

**Puts on flame retardant clothing and zips up**

Hopefully, this blog entry won't get me into hot water. I actually had a lengthy internal debate on the subject and ultimately decided what the hay?

So...I was reading up on my loops and came across Harlequin's decision to form a vanity press. My understanding is it's a scam and a way to take money from the unsuspecting. It's all well and good that writer's are sharing the knowlege and being proactive. I'm all about protecting the innocent.

My issue comes from something else entirely. A little character trait that is none too attractive.


It's something I've been scratching my head at since I received my first acceptance letter and started working the circuit. Bless my humble heart, I assumed all authors were created equal once they received that all important contract. Shock doesn't even begin to describe what I felt when I learned some people don't view you as squat until you can spout off a "name-brand" publisher that's accepted you.

Anon author: "You're published where?"

Me: "Insert Press Here."

Anon author: "That's nice."

Me: "Thanks, I'm hoping-"

Anon author: "You know what? I have tons of *insert chore here* to do. It was nice talking to you."

(Sadly, that is based off a convo I had once)

I'm aware that camaraderie exists with individual presses, but ultimately, aren't we all trying to live the dream? Is it necessary to split and divide (and heft our noses into the air) when we reach certain acclaim? I recently had a story accepted at one of my dream pubs, but you know what? Big whoop. Reading and writing are subjective. I've seen material offered by lesser known pubs that blow the "big-three" outta the water. It's all a matter of chance. You just never know.

Personally, I wouldn't go the vanity press route. I have ink cartridges, folders, and tons of shelf-space for the work I never intended to share. It was easy enough to print out my own. But you know what? If someone realizes what they are doing, and it makes them feel good to feel "published"... What's the harm?


I suppose, for me, I'm about building up those around me. Not tearing them down. It takes up too much energy to be hatin'. (Which is why I had the hubs take over all that e-piracy bologna) The industry is tough, and I think time would be better vested in spreading encouragement versus engaging in high schoolesk drama to make ourselves feel better about...well...ourselves.

I don't care where another author is published. If they write something that rocks my socks, I'm going to be fan. I don't care if it's a place like FictionPress or some fanfic. And unless someone is raking in a lucrative advance for their work, I don't they really have the right to put on airs either.

Guess what, Dorothy. Oxygen is free, which means we all have the right to a big, heaping lungful. Be careful if you take that broom out for a spin. I hear the witch isn't dead at all but is now appearing in some musical called Wicked, and the lolli-pop guild has her back.

Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? If not, just excuse the quasi-rant. I'm running on fumes here.


Cari Quinn said...

Sing it, sister! We've talked about this before and I'm in complete agreement. The only person I'm really in competition with is ME. I'm the only one who controls whether I become a better writer, which is what will allow me to reach my dreams. If I'm honest, I have to remind myself this a lot, because the green-eyed monster pops out now and then. But I also know there are so many great authors who have been nothing but gracious, and that's the kind of author - and person - I'd rather be. Besides, arrogance give you wrinkles. ;)

Oh, and btw, I love that you speak your mind. There are way too many people who don't in this world.

Jacqueline Paige said...

*thumbs up*


I'd write more but I'm too tired to make it sound good!

Well done, lady!

Shelley Munro said...

It's a sad fact of life that some people like to "measure" so they know where people fit into their social register. This doesn't just happen in the world of writing.

I tend to do my own thing and try not to worry about everyone else. I'm too busy at the moment to worry about anything except my stuff. :-)

J.A. Saare said...

Hey Everyone ;)

All of you ladies are great, and I agree with Shelley that we all have our own stuff going on and what not. I just read some really catty stuff regarding people that are considered "writers" versus those that are not and couldn't understand the need for the clarification.


Kaye Manro said...

This is such a good post and I love that you speak your mind too!

You sound like other writers I know. But as Cari says, I've met a bunch of awesome writers who do accept us no matter where we are in our writing career. On the other hand, there are the snobs who are just the way you say. I stay away from the ones who, 'heft our noses into the air' (great line btw)

About HQN-- it's a hard hitting thing, and RWA thinks so too. It's just wrong in my opinion. But as I've said to others lately-- they are slipping on quality and going for the sales instead of good writing. (You should here me shouting about one particular line that I've been targeting and the quality-- you don't want to hear!)

Keep on speaking out, Jaime. We love you doing it.

Lawfrog said...

I concur with everyone else. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you tell it like it is. It's been my experience in life that there is a large contingent of people in this world who have no or low self-esteem. Consequently, they feel the need to create standards that they apply to everyone in order for that person to be acceptable.

My view is that life is hard enough without placing difficult or impossible to meet standards on ourselves or others. It is better to encourage one another and be joyful for one another. That does more for everyone in the end.