Friday, December 30, 2016


I read an article today by a woman who slammed Indie writers. She stated self-publishing was "an insult to the written word". This breaks my heart. For her.
Writing is a lonely enough job. It does not serve to isolate yourself further by denigrating a huge--and hugely successful--group of individuals, all of whom share the same interest: the written word.
Self, Trad...however a book makes it to readers is less important than how readers react to the book. Lord knows the "less-than" books are quickly picked apart, their writers insulted and criticized, some quite cruelly. As far as I'm concerned, it needs to stop. Just stop.
I despise fat on my steak. I go to great lengths to cut it off, and ensure very little ever crosses my lips. It makes me gag. My husband, OTOH, loves fat on his steak and prime rib. As far as he's concerned, it's the closest thing to Heaven as he wants to get right now. Same fat. Different reactions to it. Neither reaction is right. Or wrong. They just are.
Books are the same. Some you love. Some you, "eh". Some you toss before you get three pages in. It's subjective. Selective. Personal.
I used to groan, and kvetch when reading a novel loaded with back story, or erratic POV switches. Now I simply close the book, remind myself to watch for these types of issues in my writing, and move on to a book I enjoy. What I don't do, is go on Goodreads, or Amazon, or Twitter and beat the hell out of some poor author for his/her rookie--or not--mistakes (some seasoned--BESTSELLING--authors make very good money committing such blasphemy). Who cares?
Writing is hard work. And yes, as the author of the aforementioned article stated, it does take years to hone the craft. But that doesn't mean you have to be middle-aged or doddering, or traditionally published, before you can reap the reward of seeing your story in print.
Some children take to reading/writing from the moment they're handed a pencil, and Dr. Seuss book. They love reading. They love writing. They excel at it. And by the time they're in their teens or twenties, they're quite competent. And in this era, quite tech savvy, too. Other writers come to their craft late, in their thirties, or forties, fifties and sixties. Should they all have to toil decades receiving rejections before ever seeing something they've labored over into print? As far as I'm concerned, no.
Amazon and other "Indie" publish options have opened doors certain "gate keepers" would like to see slammed shut. Good. Not all gate keepers are good gate keepers.
Some gatekeepers are overwhelmed and hitting the R button out of pure survival instinct. Others have a fixed mindset as to what types of books readers want and are committed to permitting only that formula to venture past the iron fence. Some gatekeepers like fat on their steak. Some hate it. Some love fat, but can't find anyone else willing to eat it. The steak remains on the plate untouched. Should it sit there indefinitely? In my opinion, No.
When an author takes the time to pour heart and soul into something that means something to him/her, let him/her publish. Who are they hurting, really? You don't have to read it. Heaven knows there are a gazillion choices; choose the ones that make you happy. And if you feel like letting the author know you enjoyed their book, go ahead. There isn't a person alive that doesn't appreciate a little praise every now and again. If the book makes you gag, put it down. Find something more to your taste, and feed your soul. But please, don't suck the soul out of someone else. No one wants, or needs, anymore poison in an already toxic world.

*stepping off soap box*

Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize. ~Elizabeth Harrison

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