The Hard Truth About Writing and Being Published.

21 Dec

So my WordPress app is still being a total bitch. (cough cough) Pardon my French. You know, I’ve never really understood that phrase. Pardon my French. Do the French like curse a lot or something? It’s a weird phrase if you ask me. You might think after two decades of being on this earth that I would have the good sense to know something as old and as common as that. There is probably an entire history about it somewhere on Google and I’m just being too lazy to find out…as usual. Anyway, enough of that, I’m going off topic aren’t I? No surprise there. My mind tends to wander. It’s a miracle I can even blog without it being about a million topics jumbled into one pile of hot, steaming doodoo. (I’m gross, I know…so unlady-like.)

Anyway…the point I’m trying to put across is that I’m still unable to upload images. It’s a major suck-fest. Now what this means is that I can’t post my reviews anymore –it would be awkward posting a review without the book cover to show you just what I’m talking about. Or maybe that’s just me.

This post is about something that’s very close to my heart-well, it has become closer to my heart recently as I’m getting older but that’s beside the point- and this ‘something’ is getting published. Putting your book out there. Being discovered or whatever way we can put it. You get me, right? I hope you do. Please tell me you do.

Please note that the ‘Truth’ in the title of this post is to be taken lightly because let’s face it, whichever way you think of it, this is nothing more than my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less…but do read on. Opinions are awesome, especially mine. 😀 (just kidding)

Obviously most book lovers have attempted to write a book of their own and even went as far as fantasizing about being published and being a best seller. (cough cough) Yours truly included. It’s a good dream.

Now what I have on my mind is with so many books coming out each day-most of them self-published-, are we really getting the best that the literary community can offer? Are the books we are making our eyes look at and our sponge like brains swallow up like a…well like a sponge, the epitome of writing? I’m saying this because I was following the hype that came up following YouTube sensation Zoella aka Zoe Sugg’s debut novel “Girl Online”. She was being compared to J.K Rowling and how her debut sales were way better. I’m yet to read the book but the blurb looks interesting and like something I can enjoy. But J.K Rowling? Come on. J.K is a legend. A goddess among mere men. She opened my eyes to a universe I never would have imagined and made me believe we can all defeat our demons and though loss hurts and shatters our lives, brighter days always follow. The woman gave us one of the best stories I’ve ever read and invited me in a world that made me wish I had gotten my letter on my eleventh birthday-I’m still upset that I didn’t.

I think I’m just biased so ignore that little rant.

Anyway the argument that most readers of Zoe’s book were making or at least trying to let everyone know was that the only reason she even got a book deal in the first place was because she was already famous and well known. Most of the reviews for the book have almost the same wording. Others wrote that she wouldn’t have gotten that book published had she been any random new and aspiring writer-That the book was plain and had nothing special about it. Now as you already know, I haven’t read the book so I can’t really comment on how good or bad it is. Though I did see some people give it a 1 start rating even without reading it…talk about being harsh and unprofessional. Then the whole ghost writer scandal hit…I think that’s another blog post for another time though. Stick around.

I have read quite a number of books, most of them by really talented people who make me think that my writing gene must’ve been somehow given to them. Don’t look at me like that, it happens. Explain J.R.R Tolkien. Then there are those works of literature-if you can even call them that- which makes you cringe as you read and just turn you into this cursing machine because the writing is just horrendous. Like 10th grade-dropout-turned-crack-dealer horrendous. Now I know that I shouldn’t say something so cruel but I’m trying to put a point across. Some authors’ work are like a piece of heaven sent sown to earth on an angels wings, to be enjoyed, savored like looking upon them will add years to your life and maybe dare I say it…even worshiped. On the other hand, some other books are just a fly infested crap sandwich…minus the bread. A total burf-fest.

Now I don’t know about you but it kind of makes me wonder, how in the name of people-who-actually-went-to-reputable-schools-and-got-writing-degrees did these other people get book deals? Was it witchcraft or what? Did they somehow find a four-leaf clover or actually have a vault full of rabbit feet? Is it a luck a thing? Or a those-who-deserve-it-and-worked-hard-for-it-will-eventually-get-it thing? I want a freaking book deal too…well as soon as I become good enough to be published that is 😀

I don’t know much about the publishing business or any other business for that matter- I went to university and pursed a bachelor’s degree in computer science- does one have to know someone to get in the book world or is it free for all? Hard work reaping recognition? I follow quite a number of aspiring writers on WordPress and believe me when I say, their writing is beautiful and worthy of deserving a book deal. They are creative and come up with works of fiction I would definitely spend money one. There is talent on this site and it upsets me when I see how hard they are working just to have their work published only to remain hidden and underappreciated in the dark shadows and cold parts of the internet. The lucky ones know how to use social media to get their stories out there but it’s still not enough. It’s not the same. Having 700 followers is a big deal but they still deserve more.

Some self-published authors make it in the big and sometimes unfair world of writing, most are never taken seriously. Why you ask? Because readers are prejudiced when it comes to self-published pieces of literature. They equate it to not being good enough to be recognized by prestigious publishing companies. Like if your name is not attached to a well-known publishing house then obviously you suck more than a vacuum cleaner. I’ve read self-published books and I’m a big believer in helping anyone who wants to make it into this very tough world, so believe me when I say, it’s not a thing or not being good enough but more about publishing companies thinking about what author would bring in the most money.

Think about it, me-a nobody, yeah I know I shouldn’t call myself that but just keep reading, you’ll see the point soon- okay, if I pitched a book about “love in the time of Ebola”, there is death, there is sorrow, lots of tears and some cute moments between my main character and some average guy who found himself in the right country but just at the wrong time. The story educates us on just how bad Ebola hit West Africa and the measures the government took to contain it…sounds like a pretty good idea. Now, would the agent pick my book and actually publish it or would she go with let’s say, Justin Bieber’s book idea about how he keeps his hair slick or whatever ‘The Biebs’ does?

I think we all know which book would end up on the best seller’s list. Whichever one it is, it sure as heck won’t have my name on it.
After reading this, I’m sure you are thinking I agree with the people who were trashing Zoella’s book. Well, you are wrong, like I’ve said before…I haven’t read it yet.

All I’m talking about and trying to get off my chest is:

Should we (aspiring writers) give up on trying because it’s too hard to get manuscripts accepted when there is a possibility a celebrity or some other famous/ infamous person will be put as priority or should we soldier-on and keep on trying like our lives depend on it? Hoping and wishing that a day will come when our words leave our minds and laptops and will soar in the distance and reach someone whose life can actually be changed and touched by what we spew out. Now that would be incredible.

Personally I write because I love and enjoy it and if I get a million follows and readers even better. Don’t look at me like that…admit it, you would love that too.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

-Dee

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