Shush, you. Yes, I am going to weigh-in on this one. Filtering and self-censorship are difficult for me. My motto, "To know me is to know I can't shut my pie-hole."
I really like this blog, and look forward to reading it:
But I am not sure I agree with that particular post.
I am in a position to encourage writers, of all ages. I have never had a book published (yet--dream #28), and to those of you who look at any reason not to write, all I can tell you is get over yourself. So, because of someone's readership numbers, are you telling me because Neil Gaiman has sold more books than I have, I shouldn't write? Because Stephen King hacks out an awesome novel that still gives me chills to think about (The Shining), I shouldn't think of my own scary stories? If you have something to say, say it, dammit, let the critics be damned. What I suspect is that most creative souls are their own worst critics. If I seriously stopped for one second and let someone like a Stephanie Myers get me down, then all would be lost. If anything, I am going to write those novels as an antidote to the Twilight series. Haters be hating, and I hate those books. Okay. Except for Team Jacob. Okay. Okay. I submit. And she did capture virgin-lust-painful-teenage-longing well. Okay. Whatever.
The Internet has brought me a place to freely express myself. I can make mistakes, write, whine, laugh, and imagine all I want. It is my sandbox, and though once in a while there is some neighborhood cat poop, for the most part, it is damn fun.
I may never publish anything. I may never create a masterpiece like To Kill A Mockingbird, or East of Eden. But I write, and it saves my sanity. It's my sanity, and I'm sticking to it. My numbers? Currently over 17,000. Many of those were looking for Beavis and Butthead, and some Big Bird, but some were looking for me, and my stories. If it were 1,000 or just 1, it doesn't matter. We found each other, and that's what counts.
Postscript: I need a Bear hug.
You know Matty, I read that post. And I had read it AFTER I wrote my post, and I realised that O had written that post about the same post I had written about. But I think O was saying that she didn't like people who say things like hey look at me, I've got this many readers! She said that it made people feel "Wow, why do I bother writing if I can't achieve that?" and people stop writing because they don't get the pageviews.ReplyDelete
I think unlike those people Matty, we just like to write for the sake of writing. I don't give a poop about how many readers I have, though don't get me wrong, I am ALWAYS excited when I get a new reader or new commenter. It's like OMG someone is reading my stuff how exciting!
Hey don't pay out Stephanie Meyers. Mr Butt himself writes like Stephanie Meyers. That cool thing on your sidebar says so /nod so that means she must be alright. I grinned at the virgin lust painful teenage longing comment. That is Jacob in a nutshell. Yes I read the Twilight series. I am a sucker for romance crap.
I am one of those people who loves to follow a trail (you saw my crazy flowchart), and one of the trails that your post is on the same path as is the same as Godmother's one
because I think she wrote that along a similar line to my post, about censoring what you write BEFORE you hit publish, rather than after, because it's already out there. Whereas I don't think you need to censor after, if you offend someone by what you wrote, unless it was intentional, you apologise. But I wouldn't change what I wrote, because it was already out there. If people find it offensive, then I think they're too sensitive. Because I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone and I am writing it because that was how I felt, and I don't want anyone to take away how I felt about something just because you didn't like it, or it upset you. Don't read it then. I'm sharing my thoughts with you, and you wanted to share it, I didn't shove it down your throat.
OK this is ridiculous. This reply is as long as a post. I need to stop now. But I will tell you Matty, that you and Ancient are the two people I can always count on to have a post for me to read every day, and I am glad that you write because otherwise I would never be able to say how proud I am to say that I "know" you :)
How 'bout a cat hug in the meantime. You know me, just silliness 24/7 no confronting, controversy from me ever.ReplyDelete
But, maybe it's because I write on my blog the same way I was good at playing by myself (only child) as a kid. I'm just having a fine time for myself and really it was a shock and a pleasure when people visited and spoke to me, an added bonus.
Other people's numbers mean absolutely zip to me other than if it makes them happy to have them then I'm happy for them. They in no way influence the likelihood of my continued blogging.
Anyway, I've been busy trying to upgrade to J. R. R. Tolkien by pasting every post I've made into the damn box. So far only got as far as Ursula K. Le Guin but I'll keep trying.
That's just me refreshing your page a few times :)
I am not a bear but I can give you a *big hug*ReplyDelete
Great post! Thanks for sparking some thoughts - sorry I seem to have expelled them all into O's comments...
I agree that we do not need to feel we will create the next King thriller to feel we can succeed as a writer. The important thing is that we feel we have something to say and we say it - and damn the consequences and criticism! Success has numerous indicators - dollars and numbers only equal one.
Myself, personally, I would rather reach ONE person at the right time and place and with the right words, than to reach reach a million who will brush over it and not take anything away. :)
I do not write to be read, but I do admit that I think we all want to be heard - even by an audience of one.
Navi - I'm just jealous of Ms. Myers. Always have been. Somehow she took her Mormon-chastity ethos and created blockbusters out of it. And I am mystified by Myers/Bear blog -- I would have thought more Tom Clancy or Hemingway, but what the hell do I know?ReplyDelete
Well, I do know this: I post impulsively and recklessly sometimes. I love your and Tome's words, too, and the human awesomesauce behind them.
Tome - Ursula K. Le Guin is no slouch!
And for the Tolkien thing - it was a chapter out of Blackberry Winter, I think Chapter 5, but I still say it was because the word "dwarf" was in there.
And I'll take big Druid/Tauren hugs anytime.
I think it's funny that me, Effy and Matty all expounded our thoughts on O's blog! That was my first time posting a comment there! Clearly we girls move in the same blog circles :) But Effy, you always reach me with your words, I really do <3 your blog. Though I think our connection came from when we won that competition together :)ReplyDelete
I keep getting afraid, when I see someone start talking about this, that it's going to spark drama. The fear of being the catalyst that incites drama is an even stronger prod to not write than any worry about pageviews. If I want to start shit, I'll damn well start it. :)ReplyDelete
That being said... you know you've got a huge hug from ME, and I completely agree with you on the "yes, you're a great writer... but how does that, in any way, mean that I can't write something too? I don't write like you, I write like me, because only *I* say shit like we need to get some bacon-flannel pajamas made, so we can snack without getting out of bed.
We ain't monkeys, pagehits ain't bananas, and we're not shooting for Shakespeare. Sure, writing styles may in the end be similar, but we put ourself out there whatever words we use, we express ourselves, and that makes each of us our own unique snowflake.
If someone wants an excuse not to write, they'll find one. That is why I am proud to say I am a writer. I don't need pagehits or an audience to write... I know that, because I've been writing stories and roleplay backgrounds and poems in notebooks for decades, and all that shit is still in a drawer in my office, carried around everywhere, and if I ever started thinking I was 'the man', all I'd have to do is pull that out. Omigod.
Thinking about bacon.
Now I want a banana.
And a monkey.
A monkey-eating-a-banana-frying bacon-monkey. Wearing pajamas.
Actually, writing is serious business. It carries a risk of exposure that is terrifying for most. Maybe because I was an art major, and had rounds of exposing my paintings and sketches to others did I toughen up a bit. It's funny, while thinking about this I remember one professor in grad school whose one comment ended what may have been a brilliant art career. But I am older now, and sometimes wiser, and I guess I just want to tell anyone who wants to create something, don't get in your own way. I let his one comment to me become an obstacle, and shame on me.
Now---to bacon! Away!