Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 14, 2015

So, I belong to several writers groups. The tough part about groups on Facebook is that each has a slightly different set of rules. None of this is something that really bothers me, after all, it's not as if I spend twenty-four hours a day reading through the slough of posts (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose) hoping for some small fragment of hope embedded in a post.

There are the usual, questions about can or cannot be done; people looking for ideas; spammers trying to get you to click on their links or scammers trying to entice you with the lure of money. Somehow these people want 30,000 words up front with the author maintaining no rights to his or her own work and yet people fall for it... I guess it is kind of like that Nigerian Prince scam. People will fall for just about anything looking for an easy buck.

Which brings me to my gripe for the day. I get the whole genre thing. Not everyone wants the same thing. There is a reason that television is so diverse; something for everyone. But there comes a point, think Jersey Shore, when the medium is simply making us dumber. Each and every day we take a step towards being a bit dumber than we were yesterday.

I find myself feeling frustrated because I truly envision writing as art. Poetry; plays; books; hell even magazines have artistic merit. And, while the Supreme Court can argue whether there is artistic merit in pornography, I suppose it has its place. I just find that it is extremely difficult to be an Indie Author in a world where all Indie Authors are viewed as the same. We are lumped together. So, I get lumped into a class of authors whose books are titled with things like "My Skank and Yours" Really?

Hey, there is probably a place for that book and there is probably an audience who will enjoy it, but I am still lumped into this class of writers as an Indie Author. It's kind of like Hustler being lumped into a simple "magazine" category with The Economist or The New Yorker. No one would have ever thought "what, all magazines are the same" yet that is how being an independent author is viewed. We hear all the time the generalizations about independent authors.

Here are those things about being an Indie Author that are true:

1) I do not have a high priced editor
2) I do not have a  high priced copy editor
3) I do not have a marketing team
4) I do not have an agent

Separate of those basic facts, I am not the same as a person who writes erotica, romance novels or any other sub-genre which is trying to cash in on the fluke that is the success of Fifty Shades. Yes, I said fluke. The work I have been doing has been ongoing for twenty years. It may or may not be the best, but it is an attempt to write something meaningful. This is not some 'get rich quick scheme' that I pursued because some crazy chick who wrote very poorly about a lifestyle which she clearly has no knowledge was able to "successfully" exploit our own stupidity.

And maybe that is what bothers me. Every day we hear the screams for this world to stop stupefying itself, yet when given the opportunity to change the course, we flail around and claim that we do not have the time. An example, just perusing through some Amazon reviews, one reviewer who gave Grapes of Wrath a SINGLE FREAKING star turned around and gave a Nora Roberts book three-stars! And I will bet she is out there preaching about how we need a better educated world while secretly playing right into the hands of the stupid. She gives James Patterson, the Journey (band) of the writing world four stars... and has the audacity to call herself a 'book lover' Please.

Look, my work may not be anywhere in the stratosphere of Steinbeck and I am not pretending any such fantasy is a truth; what I am saying is that while the world is screaming for meaningful works, that seems to be a big illusion. Saying one thing and doing another. Screaming for "art" in writing and then reaching for the first comic book they can find.

Despite this rambling diatribe against those people who are destroying an art, I simply continue my quest to write something meaningful.

Here is the thing about being lumped with coal, though, over time, diamonds can emerge from the compression. Passion is that compression and we must continue striving ever forward.


Post a Comment