Thursday, March 10

what it is, nothing more

I wrote a rant yesterday, and tried to spice it up with enough tongue-in-cheek sarcasm to feign the appearance of humor. Mostly I was just pissed off and ranting. Then I read a blog about “Tweeting good tweets” and “posting good posts” and how all of that is important to “building an online following” and “getting followers” and “establishing an online presence”.

My first thought was, “I guess I missed the mark and that one.” And then my second thought was, “Fuck it. I'll own that.!”

Not that there’s anything specifically wrong with the tricks and the games, but I know they aren’t for me. If I went that route, I’d never be able to forgive myself. I’m intentionally ignoring all the tricks for expanding my followers list on Twitter, intentionally choosing to post potentially uncomfortable links, expressing opinions, taking stands on issues. It’s been part of the inversion from, literally, day minus one. I know this blog and most of what I post on FB and Twitter has (on the surface of it, anyway) nothing to do with publishing a fantasy novel, but it has everything to do with trying to be authentic.

I’m sure they told Frank Herbert that about Dune too – too political, too ecologically sensitive, too subversive. And I know that Margaret Atwood catches constant shit about her political and social views. I’m not in their league (hell, I’m not in their universe, to be clear), but I admire their courage. I admire the integrity to have an opinion and a voice, damn the torpedoes. They make me want to aspire.

If (when) I publish, I will publish as me, not a persona. I’ve lived dual lives, a professional me and a personal me. It sucked. If my opinions and perspectives make that process harder, then so fucking be it. I refuse to sacrifice my freedom of thought and expression in order to be more popular or an easier sell.

Writing, being an artist, isn’t a game. This isn’t about winning anything or conquering anything. It’s about having a voice and a mind and sharing it, all of it, as honestly as we can. It’s about telling honest stories. If it’s fiction, as mine is, then the Picasso quote (which I found thanks to the inimitable Judy Clement Wall) applies: “Art is the lie that tells the truth.” If that means that I’ll never publish, because I’m not marketable, then so be that too. I’ll wear that, proudly.

Thoreau said, “I’d rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” And then Einstein is attributed with saying something to the affect of, “If two people in the same room share all the same views on everything, one of them doesn’t need to be there.” That shit’s about abjuring the herd mentality, about not succumbing to it.

I won’t play games with my integrity for the sake of the possibility of a career. And if it ever turns into an actual career, I hope I still have enough integrity to be even louder when it counts most, and prove myself worthy of the career. I’d happily own failing as a marketable author for the sake of succeeding as a human with integrity.

If being honest and taking a stand means that I’ll never win the internet, I hope I never win the fucking internet.

P.S. This isn’t about anybody in particular. I’m just in a rant mood this week. Everything is coming out as a rant. I blame Gov. Scott Walker and my #amrevising playlist, which is largely comprised of Pearl Jam, Pink, Eminem, Foo Fighters, and Linkin Park. But, while I blame them, I still own every. Fucking. Word.


P.P.S. FYI: Intense Debate is acting weird on me. I have no moderation settings set, but comments are getting lost in the ether or, for some reason, to moderation. My apologies if you get lost - I have a help ticket submitted. I still appreciate every word of every comment though. Persevere for me, please.