How To Be The Pretty, Unpopular One

Or pretty unpopular – that works too.

My biggest fear when giving presentations or editing and publishing, like when I train at work, is that I come off a little hard. Writers don’t like that approach – we’re fragile creatures and we all want to be told that ONE DAY WE’LL BE ESTABLISHED, WELL-PAID AUTHORS.

*YAY*

I presented last in the writer’s workshop at a library in Hartland, MI yesterday. In the hours previous, members of GLAHW talked about the fun part of writing, and at the end of the day, I talked about why all of that hard work means nothing if you can’t be bothered to edit, polish and submit per guidelines.

It was a cold water moment that lasted 45 minutes.

This is the way it is – you don’t have to like it, you just have to do it. Writing is a two-step mechanism – creative and business. The creative part is what we love to talk about – how exciting and liberating and maddening and satisfying. We get the words out and we’re writers. The business part is where those that can’t cut it get ground up – there is submitting and rejection and digging in and revising and trying harder. When you make it, you see publication – magazine, anthology, novel. It takes work and it’s hard and there is disappointment – but at the end, there is reward. Things worth doing take work and sacrifice and pain.

You hear me, now – hard work and effort.

If every little girl could do gymnastics like the Fantastic Five, would the Olympics be so special? Would there even be a Fantastic Five? Would we care? I feel that way about digital self-publishing – anyone can do it, so it’s not all that special and I don’t care.

It you’re finding that you don’t want to be told ‘no’ and you don’t want to try to hone your craft and you want to skip part of the process go right to the glowing fawning of publication, I have absolutely no use for you – not as an editor and not as a reader. Here is the process: there is no “but”, or “maybe” or “what if…then”. If you don’t like it, the line for the immediate and hollow self-gratification of Kindle starts over there, and you can join the millions of other writers skipping what I consider the most important part of the process.

That was basically the gist of my part of the presentation yesterday. Clearly I’m not all that concerned about being liked, however the director said she’d like to have us back just for the editing/publishing part of the process in a few months, so she saw value in it.