I’ve struggled my entire life to do what’s right. I’ve tried to be a better person and learn from my mistakes. It’s not the easiest thing to do when you feel you’re alone in the world. For the longest time I’ve been wondering whether I’m even on the right track at all. If perhaps being a writer is a fantasy that I should just let go of and move on, but at my heart I’m a stubborn woman who has a streak of fire in my gut that often leaves me with indigestion and a blank page in front of me.
The past few months have been frustrating at the least and pure insanity at its worst. It’s also been peppered with reasons why I continue internally fighting with myself and trying my damnedest not to give in to my doubts. When I stepped into the publishing ring I was terrified…hell I still am. Am I disappointed about certain aspects of publishing? Damn straight I am. I’ve learned that being in publishing is very much like stepping back in time and onto the playground of my childhood.
Don’t get me wrong, this adult playground isn’t all bad not by a long shot. I’ve met some wonderful supportive people, but I’ve also met some assholes. Yeah, I said it–ASSHOLES. These people are the bullies of the publishing world; fellow writers, reviewers, artists, etc. who for whatever reason feel the need to knock you down just when you’ve pulled yourself up and dusted the seat of your pants off. Their reasons are numerous at least that’s what I’m sure they believe, but their reasons are often rooted in their own insecurities.
In the two years that I’ve been maneuvering the publishing playground I’ve faced down with an artist (and I use the word artist lightly) who was incredibly homophobic and in my opinion tried their damnedest to screw my first cover up. My friends saw the work the artist did and it earned the nickname The Angry Rentboy. Very amusing considering the character represented in the atrocity was a male academic who just happened to be bi-sexual. I’ve ran into (on two separate occasions) reviewers who insulted my abilities as a writer without offering any useful concrit. It seemed that their main goal was just to knock me on my ass and laugh in my face (think Nelson Muntz on the Simpsons–ha, ha!).
Another type of run-in I’ve had is with writers who can be–how should I say this without coming off as an ass myself? Oh, screw it! They can be just nasty bitches/bastards who seem to be focused on running writers off the playground. What is the whole point? Do they believe if they insult enough of their fellow writers that they’ll make it to the top of the food chain?
Come on people…
Have you noticed how many writers there are out there on the playground? I really think you would better serve your career by just focusing on your writing and leaving the rest of us the hell alone. Just because I get positive responses to my writing doesn’t mean that I’m blowing the reviewer under the table. Yeah, a vulgar analogy, but it pretty much describes one incident that pissed me off. I work hard on my writing, hell I quite often tear myself bald during writing sessions figuratively. The last thing I need is for some insecure person accusing me of greasing the wheel to get attention. Trust me if I were greasing the wheel I wouldn’t be setting here writing this, but rather I would be a NY Times Bestselling author, and Oprah would be hawking my book to the masses. Instead I’m a struggling writer who will more than likely never be noticed by Random House, Oprah, or Hollywood.
So, in a nutshell–BUGGER OFF!
I’ve always been one of those people that held their tongue in professional arenas, turned the filter on super mode, because I’m opinionated (just ask my friends). I’m passionate about whatever I’m doing in my life and writing is no exception. There have been a few times over the years that the universe in general has pushed my buttons once too often and the filter just popped of and the shit hit the fan. It’s rare, but it happens. Over the past two years, I’ve lurked in the shadows, listened to what other writers have said, and on occasion have thrown in my two-cents worth. Not anymore though.
My mother always loved to fling sayings about as answers to the questions I would ask as a kid. One of her favorite ones was the oldie, but goody, Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. I never understood that until I was confronted by the adult world. Trust me I was raised right. I’m honest and straightforward. I’m the friend who tells you like it is even if you don’t want to hear it. I don’t molly-coddle the people in my life. I’m there when they need me and back off when they need their space. I encourage my friends to go for their dreams, to grow up and face their demons. Am I perfect–hell, no! I’m only human and with that shocking confession 😉 I’m calling the universe out.
I’m tired of being bit in the ass and allowing you and your minions to influence my dreams. This writer just grew fangs and your about to learn that if you bite–this time I’m biting back.