Thoughts of a frustrated writer with the audacity of hope!
I’m sure that if I polled the majority of you there would be a bone to pick, pet peeves, and other problematic issues that you feel should be right in the publishing world. I often wish that the AA literary world were more endowed and people of other persuasions read our books and allowed us the same notoriety that they do their own. However, I would love to see unification from other persuasions that would give us equal parity that would eradicate color bias and other stumbling blocks for across-the-board acceptance. I wish too, for the publishing industry in the long run to truly balance the scales so that royalty rates, adequate publicity, and marketing support are enhanced for successes to be benefits, and not drive adversity. I may be asking too much, but my mind hurts thinking about these things! Have you ever sat down to do work and find that you have so much to do that you really don’t know where to start? Mental overload seem to be as prevalent as good intent sans time management to get the job done. Life as a writer has its benefits where the cost of success often can be measured and justified by psychological pretensions, not to mention all of what I mentioned above. We labor with the words that give our intent the hue and cry of legitimacy, and allow the colors we use on our canvases to be the stroke of genius that allow imagery a greater role in the grand scheme of things. I realize that I’m no different than others in this field that may have many irons in fires and more rows to hoe than normal. It’s always the little things, or the entities that we take for granted that tend to build to crescendos forcing us to turn the volume down. Of late, my mind is running a mile a minute and cluttered with things in the ‘to be done’ mode, and the ‘what if’ variety.
For pall that is implied here, there are some semblances of imagined hope and goodwill in my camp. I’m thinking about giving credit to those that have helped me to get where I am today, and there are many; I think about paying homage to myself finally listening to that still small voice that hovers in my space holding me steady, and accountable to the muse; I think of this industry that has grown tremendously since 1980 when we were taken for granted, or not being granted at all the opportunity to write from the heart as opposed to being told exactly what to write for acceptance; and then there’s the angst and anxiety of thinking about how I can extract some measure of contentment in all things literary to be accepted among my peers, even. There’s a fine line when walking and weathering it in making a name, be it for myself or for others who love to write. When I first ventured online I admit not being familiar with cyberspace. I relied heavily on my administrative assistants and secretaries to take care all of my technical issues and computer programming. I remember wanting to review books, feeling so lost. I endeavored to do so with the help of a dedicated few who expressed willingness to assist me. I remember attending my first Romance Slam Jam (2001) and being introduced to the many authors that now are considered both friends and confidantes. And by the time I was ready to review books of love, there were a few who taught me who was who in the world of the AA romance genre, and why they wrote as they did. Listening patiently, I continually plied them with questions about content and context. Needless to say, it would be folly, if not detrimental to start naming all those that I now find to be reverent at the expense of offending those that might be left out. Thus, they shall be nameless, but they know who they are!
As an editor, I worry about would-be authors who neglect to learn the craft of writing, or those that fail to learn how and why this business of publishing can be so ruthless at times. My mind will be at ease when I can get manuscripts without graphic grammatical errors and tight overall penmanship to boot. I hate the fact that we don’t network as much as we should, and/or the fact that we at times act like crabs in barrels pulling each other down when we should be more supportive of each other. Tee Cee Royal talks about the same in her recent blog on this site. It’s mind-boggling why we can’t work together, not remembering there’s strength in numbers. Indicative of the cluttered mindset that I’m espousing here…they are opinionated and random at best, and may not be indicative of those that are doing just the opposite. If you’re not counted in that number I know that to some degree you may be prone to be in agreement with me. Yes, my mind is heavy. I’m now looking at my ever-present ‘to be read’ pile knowing that I don’t have adequate staffing to read and review all of the books that publishing houses and other writers send me.
As an avid reader I to see improvement in the stories coming from da hood, and new storylines that give more meaning to imagery that may not have been previously presented. Authors are writing across the board nowadays while still maintaining spheres of sophistication in their genres. And then there’s this history-making presidential election that are dividing loyalties, defining to different levels race and gender, and allowing change to bolster hope. As I lean back in my La-Z Boy recliner, I have a damn good book, one of my patented cocktails and I’m going to enjoy myself knowing that the drama will clear. That still small voice will continue to be in my ear, giving me direction and admonishing me that this too, shall pass!