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I'm busy with a dozen different things (mostly mundane I'm afraid) but had to share this:

Your manuscript arrives in the inbox of an agent with 450 unread messages just from that morning. At least 445 of those unread mails comprise a festering heap of word-dung, and that agent has to get through these and write some kind of "No, I don't want to rep your book about a chosen one Messiah space pilot hermaphrodite ring-bearer wombat-trainer blacksmith" rejection letter. And she has to do it again and again. And again. And again. Times 400. Let's be honest, by Piece Of Crap #225, that agent has basically lost her mind. Her brain is a treacly, yogurt-like substance that smells faintly of coffee and disappointment.

But wait - that's not all! Keep reading:

Snooki, who is by all reports the equivalent to a drunken, self-aware slime mold, is way, way higher up on the food chain than Jane Yolen. And Jane Yolen is way, way higher up on the food chain than you. Think about that. Think about just how screwed that makes you. It's like a crazy house. It's like an asylum where they let that guy who paints leprechaun porn in his own waste run the joint. And there are you and Jane Yolen, holed up in Room 313, the only sane ones in the whole zip code while an army of Snooki Zombies (their book deals flailing in their rotten, epileptic grip) tries to kill you. Or have sex with you.


Go. Read the whole thing. Now. (And yes, the title is from the post.)

(Hat tip to Miss Gwenda, of course!)


::hysterical laughter::

Just think, Col. We got past the Snookie Zombies!

Jenn Hubbard

It doesn't matter.

When I was growing up, talented in both writing and science, everyone (including writers) told me not to be a writer if I could possibly do anything else. They said what the guy in the link said, in slightly different words. And so I got a degree in science, and a job with a salary and health benefits.

And I kept writing. Because, as it turns out, I can't NOT write. I've published a book now, and a bunch of short stories. I'm glad I did it, even though publishing is an emotional roller coaster with highs and lows the size of Everest. It turns out that writing isn't a choice for me: I write, and I will keep writing. I suppose that pursuing publishing is a choice, but the drive to find readers is almost as strong as the drive to write. Talking to myself only goes so far before I feel compelled to talk to others.

For a celebrity, a book is just one of the ways in which they try to make money--along with an album, a reality show, a T-shirt or cooking grill or exercise machine or whatever else they want to put their names on. Celebrities get book deals because they have one thing that matters very much to consumers (and thus to publishers): name recognition.

Those of us who write and are not famous for anything else get our name recognition in only one way: by writing something that sounds so incredibly good, people will buy it in spite of the fact they've never heard of us. That is a huge hurdle. That's why it's so hard and we have to work so long and why high-concept is big.

Finally, the link was worth it just for the image of the orangutan with the monocle.

Thanks for a good laugh. Basically, I agree with what Jenn said, too--I can't NOT write (or create art); it's just what I do. There always has been and there's always going to be a huge gap between the people who create the art and the industry that surrounds it.

Strangely, though, I heard a lot less "don't be an artist" than I do "don't be a writer," though it's really not that different a story in terms of making a living. I think people just don't actually BELIEVE you when you say you want to be an artist. It's like, ha ha, aren't you hilarious; but really, though, what DO you plan to do?

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