Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fuck this! (aka: The Writer's problem)

This is actually not the first time I've dipped my feet into the waters of writing. Why have I returned, you ask?


I'm real good at talking to my friends and helping them come to 'epiphany' moments. "Oh, I realise this was what was getting me down," or "Damn, I really didn't think about it like that, but..." 

My partner is this really inspiring man who sees what he wants in front of him and immediately starts taking strides towards getting it. This isn't without faults -sometimes he pushes too hard, sometimes he falls too low when someone tells him he's dreaming too high- but he takes this stuff in stride, and keeps going. Always keeps going. I kinda look at him in awe. 

A good friend just posted the list of Hugos and associated prizes winners, and I realised, I want to win Best New Writer one day. That friend and I have come up with a harmonious deal between us that we will keep each other posted and then keep out of the way during each others' chosen years. 

A friend that I work with has just released a book of short stories on Kindle.


I've had it in my head for so long that I'm not going to be a 'Worthwhile Writer (TM)' unless my work is picked up and recognised by a publishing house and, because of that, have sat there on my thumbs and done very little about it. 

This is particularly daft because I have been picked up and e-published over in America several times and, for the last five years, have belittled that achievement because 1/ it was genre writing, and 2/ it was e-published. 

Then there's this stigma about self-publishing that this exists even though it seems to become less relevant the more technologically savvy and e-book reader reliant we (even in Australia) become. However, that stigma seems to be mainly to do with the quality of editing that these self-published books have. 

It was already so hard to get yourself picked up by a publishing house when I was in high school; it's about a hundred or so times more difficult these days. And then, even if/when you get picked up, there are the internal politics of most publishing houses that will put the books/authors that are more known against the unknown writer of dubious sales. I've even heard of someone's book being accepted and then never published, though the house ended up keeping the option for the rest of the two years of the contract. 

Don't get me into the fact that, in this day and age, any aspiring writer -or any writer at all, really- needs to get hip deep into their own marketing/publicity side. Again, unless you are a well known author, the majority of publishing houses just aren't going to do that for you. 

I look at all of this and I wonder what, really, is the good of waiting for a publishing house to sit up and discover me? 

I have these amazing contacts and friends from my e-publishing times, and have since made many more. 

I have a workshopping circle I meet with most Tuesdays, and several people who have either established proof reading business or upcoming ones. Hell, the number of people I've had offer just to read my creative thesis as experience for their proof reading business before the end of the year has astounded and flattered me. 

I have this wonderful idea for a series of hand bound chapbooks that I've been sitting on for almost a year now (okay, there have been reasons, and perhaps even this close to the end of honours is not the best time for me to be picking this up again but, so, whatever..)

Not to mention the many friends that have come up to me over the years and said that, if I ever do get any of my work published, even self published, that they want to read it because I'm one of the few amateur writers whose work they already enjoy. 

So, you know what? I have a goal ahead of me. And that goal is made up of a whole bunch of teeny tiny little steps that may, one day, lead up to that great big goal in the sky: Best New Writer.

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