mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
[personal profile] mary
small-hours ramblethoughts about where I am as a writer behind the cut



I don't want to be the bitter fucked-up failure that I increasingly find myself to be. It's nothing new for me to get incredibly messed up in my head when someone I know does well, but I feel like that tendency in my personality is getting more and more pronounced as time goes on and it concerns me. I don't want to be so poisoned by my own regrets and disappointments that I can't be happy for the success of others.

I've been back-and-forthing in my head since finishing Candy Butchers about whether I want to write anymore, and I just don't know. On the one hand, I feel utterly worthless without it -- what's the point of me, if I'm not a writer? What possible worth as a person, what justification for continued existence, do I have if I'm not writing?

But then on the other hand... what possible worth do I have *as* a writer? I'm never going to walk into a bookstore and see one of my novels on the shelf, or walk past a remainder bin full of battered paperbacks made up of words from my head. I'm never going to feel like I can legitimately call myself an 'author', not without feeling certain that the real authors I know are sneering or smiling condescendingly inside, secure in the knowledge that they're proper authors and I'm a pathetic wannabe.

See? This whole thing is turning me horrible, and it's making me think that everyone else is horrible too. I'm self-centered with shitty self-esteem: I assume people have feelings about me, contempt or pity, when really the truth is that the real authors I know probably never even think about me or my work at all. I don't register. I'm not part of the club.

Ugh, I don't know. I just feel like at 30, with Candy Butchers publisher-less and Mixtape and Wolf House at home with a tiny publisher, it's time to stop deluding myself that this is a thing that's ever going to happen. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly be good at this shit. Semi-decent doesn't cut it in a world of seven billion people.

I just feel really sad, because I don't know who I'm meant to be now.

Date: 2012-05-10 02:28 am (UTC)
ilthit: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ilthit
I've read a hell of a lot of Published Books by Legitimate Authors that don't hold a flickering candle to your work. They're not better at writing than you are, they just managed to sell better.

Date: 2012-05-21 05:38 pm (UTC)
dracunculus: dragon with bird (Default)
From: [personal profile] dracunculus
You know, I know I told you a few years ago that I wanted to see you go the Traditional Publishing route -- the years-long grind of querying agents, then editors, and revising and revising and revising -- because at the time that's what it took to reach a really wide audience. Plus, I have a lot of respect for what editors do and I think pretty much any writer can benefit enormously from a skilled, careful editor's hand.

But in the years since I said that, the publishing industry has changed enormously. Most books don't get a thorough editing any more, and most publishing houses are bleeding money and increasingly unwilling to take chances on new authors or genre-bending works. Bookstores are going the way of the dodo. Meanwhile, e-publishing is exploding and it's getting easier and easier for authors to reach their audiences directly. My opinion now is that self-publishing (or e-publishing through a small house, which is almost the same thing) is an absolutely viable way for an author to build a career. But it takes a lot of self-promotion. Are you getting in touch with all the book review blogs, offering them review copies of your books? I think getting the word out through the blogs is probably your best way to build your audience.

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mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
Isn't moral anarchy kind of the point?

December 2013

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