Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What We Need

... is a sense of humour!

Alright, I'm going to gripe here a little bit. Only because I fear that we, as authors in general, take ourselves a little too seriously. Of course, I'm making sweeping generalisations, and "tarring all authors with the same brush," as it were. Yes, I have been watching yet more Horatio Hornblower. In any case, I have stumbled across many authors or, rather, would-be authors, through various groups and online communities, who, for no other reason than being an author, take themselves much too seriously; to the point where even smiling at them is a slur on their art.

I really did write that just to see how many commas I could put into one sentence.

It's not that they're completely humourless people. I'm sure that outside of their would-be field, they are lovely, generous, kind and funny people. You know, normal. However, get them talking about writing, and the experience of trying to get published, and other writers, and they turn into the most vicious, backward-thinking, self-righteous, bigoted morons you will ever meet.

I have never met people who feel so entitled in my life!

Of course, that's not all authors or would-be authors. Not in the least! Yet there are some who are exactly as I described. Any jest is a personal attack, no matter the colour or nature of said jest. Any rejection is a personal one, and, of course, has nothing to do with the relevance or quality of the work under consideration.

Good grief people! Did you not do your research? Are you not aware that writing is the easy part?

Yes, it is incredibly difficult to break into the publishing industry.
Yes, it is frustrating at times. Who am I kidding? It's frustrating all the time.
Yes, you have to wait a lot. I mean a LOT.
Yes, it takes a great deal of (gasp) hard, hard work.

So many I've met were just expecting it all to happen as soon as their work was done. They expected to land an enthusiastic agent right away, have a publisher snap up their manuscript. They even expected their books to be turned into a film, which, of course, would become wildly popular. Then, they expected, they could just sit back and watch the money roll in. By the by, if you're writing for the fame and fortune you think will roll your way, get out of the industry. Now.

When that didn't happen, they (the big dreamers) stomped their feet and, as we say where I'm from, "chucked a wobbly" (threw their temper). Now they parade around online communities, complaining bitterly of their sad fates and discouraging as many people as possible from trying to realise their own publishing dreams, sometimes viciously. You know who you are. I'm looking right at you.

If you want to realise this dream of being published, you're going to have to stop sulking and knuckle down. Do the work.

No one said it was going to be easy. In fact, if you had done your research, you'd know that everyone, and I mean everyone, said it was bloody difficult.

Oh, and one more thing: lighten up!

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