I’m not one given to labels, because labelling often leads to oversimplification which in turn leads to assumptions and eventually to a path away from the truth. Labelling is an easy, lazy path to lies. I have no desire to align myself with anything but truth.
My laptop crashed following the frenzied week of typing up the manuscript for “Nothing,” leaving me essentially unable to work on anything else. Due to a series of other unfortunate events that had all happened at the same time, I decided to contact the “publicly funded organization in charge of helping writers” to see if they would help with a replacement. I posted this blog’s address as my writing link and apparently something isn’t kosher with the blog, because I received a response so utterly rude that I had to take a week to calm down and not yield to the temptation to use words from Eminem’s more colorful vocabulary in my reply. I will tolerate a lot of things, but I draw the line at rudeness. I have no intention of tolerating that from anyone or any organization, so I responded as politely as I could and now I’m going to address assumptions, labels and the path to believing lies.
Their response, which I tossed somewhere and will dig up later, essentially stated that my work, which they apparently neither bothered to read nor research, “will be of no benefit to the public in the long or short term, is unlikely to reach publication (or find an audience) and shows no evidence of support from the literature sector.”
This, mind you, is a reply received while two of those unpublishable works in question were sitting at the sectional ranks of #’s 2, 3 and 4 on Kobo, coming down from the dismal lows of #’s 1, 2 and 4 in the previous few months. Although I have no idea how Kobo’s sectional ranking system works, it did make me wonder how they came to the conclusion that I would never reach publication. Benefitting the public is somewhat subjective. How exactly does one measure public benefit when it comes to any form of writing? Right or wrong, someone seems to have glanced at my previous post about unagented authors and jumped to the usual label-slapping of “self-published” versus “traditionally-published” and then proceeded to treat me with all the contempt that my upstart self-published self deserves in their estimation.
This is why I don’t like labels, assumptions and general discrimination of any sort. It ends up making the world an unpleasant place. Unknown to all, because I’ve never mentioned it before, I didn’t start out my writing career as a self-published author. I started out with a nice little non-fiction piece in a national women’s weekly with a very lovely picture of my smiling face next to the headline. My next brush with publication involved the inclusion of “Reflection in Silver” (and “Mirrors”??) in an international anthology, complete with one of those contract things that seem to be so important to the labellers. So, labellers, I’m technically a traditionally published poet and non-fiction writer. If I’d left it at that, I guess I would have been deemed “of merit,” but apparently deciding to take full creative control of my own work now means that the same work and any subsequent work produced by the same individual is of no merit.
Sorry to burst your bubble and complicate your lazy, oversimplified lives labellers, but deciding to self-publish has had no diminishing effect on my talent, which was given to me by God and cannot be taken away by criticism. The only thing that has changed is the label. Maybe you need to rethink your assumptions and your labelling system.
By the way, “Reflection in Silver,” which is still one of my favorite poems, is available in “The Turmoil Within,” as is “Mirrors.”
Have a blessed week.