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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Holiday for Writers



I hate bullies. 

Bullies are parasites that take advantage of nice people.  The quiet ones who mind their own business and have a sense of propriety.

So recently I found a blog post by Damien Walters where she posted her works published in 2013.  I love her work.  Her debut novel, Ink, was the first book I reviewed on this blog.  I purchased it within hours of it being available on Amazon.  Her voice has a certain dark beauty that reminds me of MR James only with a more sensual feel.

I was looking forward to her list of published works for 2013 so I knew what to get when money became available.  This way I would know where to find more works by her.  I look forward to lists such as these from a number writers I admire.  

But she mentioned something I had no idea was an issue in the Writing World.  Apparently, some people are butthurt that writers post these lists of published works at the end of the year because it is also the time when the nominations for various awards begin.  Damien linked to a post made by Amal El-Mohtar that took things a step further and really opened my eyes.

We need to have a serious talk about awards and eligibility and the awkward eggshell-dance people feel obligated to do every time this year.


What I have come to realize is there are some amazing writers out there, some who happen to be women, that are being intimidated into silence about their accomplishments.  As if modesty was somehow translated into shutting up about what they have done.

What kind of horseshit is this?

Writers work hard on their stories.  They spend hours with their asses in a chair, pounding out words, fretting over the right word and then facing all kinds of rejection.  Writers of any gender, breed, or species have the right to be proud of getting their work accepted.

And for those of us who are fans of that writer, or even for those of us who trust a friend's taste in fiction, those lists are important.  I need to know where to go to find the good shit when I have the money to afford it.

Who the fuck is going to tell me I can't have my lists?  Furthermore, what kind of asshole is telling women to shut up and be modest?

That is the behavior of a bully.

It is seems to be rooted in envy.  The butthurt flows freely because a woman (gasp) was published instead of a man.  Or maybe some man wants his name more prominently displayed instead of a woman's.

Either way, these lists are important.  They are important because people like me have shitty memories for details due to years of heavy chocolate abuse.

They are important because I like to know what my friends are reading.  My friends are smart and have good taste.  They are constantly sending me great names and excellent works.  I click on those links and look forward to a new find each time.

These lists are important because if something comes out in January, who in the fuck is going to remember it in December?

When I was a child, I used to give a shit about pop music.  I always found it stupid, even then, how songs at the top of the charts in December were called Song of the Year.  Is that what fiction is about?  Get your shit published in November or December so you'll win an award?  If it's published in January or February it must be crap because nobody will remember it?

Enough of this shit. 

Instead of making introverted writers feel empowered in some uncomfortable hugfest, let's just all do it together and take the emotional slime out of the equation.

On the first Monday of each January we will have a holiday called Post Day.  It is the day when every single writer, veteran or new, posts a list of all their works published in the previous year.  Post it on your blog, post it on Facebook, post it in a forum.  Just post it! 

I don't have the right to give anybody permission to be a human being.  And I certainly don't have the right to say I'm empowering anybody.  But I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

But now we need to circulate this new holiday.  And if the date is too late for most awards, we'll move it up, because there is some damned good work out there that I keep missing.  I hate reading a short story years after it's been published only to wonder how in the fuck I missed it the first time.

This needs to be done.  No writer, regardless of gender, should be made to feel ashamed for wanting somebody to like their work.   And if anybody doesn't like it, or makes a butthurt comment about modesty, please send them my way.

Uncle Ted can handle a bully just fine. 

1 comment:

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