Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Indie Drama Queens or Why I No Longer Have Many Writer Friends

I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, high school was horrible. It's one of my top three worst experiences in my life.

And the other two consist of DH's emergency surgery when we didn't know what the fuck was wrong and me nearly dying during my C-section when my blood pressure crashed for no apparent reason.

So yeah, high school was pretty fucking bad. So bad, I will never, ever go to a high school reunion. Why would I want to hang out with people who spread vicious rumors about me, threatened me, and generally treated me like shit?

Yet, I keep running into indie writers who desperately want to re-create that experience. The cliques. The bitchiness. The infighting and taking sides over some innocuous happenstance. In other words, the drama queens.

It all comes down to some variation of validation. You have X, but I don't. Or I have Y, and you don't. Where X and Y are considered certain factors that signify a "real" writing career.

I thought we got over that years ago when we decided to forego begging agents for a crumb of attention, following editors into bathroom stalls, or being ecstatic that a publisher granted us a measly 6% of the income from our books.

But no, we humans are insecure little fuckers. We devise new and better ways of trying to prove we are better than our peers. And we often succeed in making ourselves and others totally miserable.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm so fucking tired of that kind of bullshit. My path isn't yours and vice versa. Judge your success by making each book better than your last one.

Or go live out the rest of your lives in high school. That's okay because I'm going to be over here doing something entirely different and my teen self will be having a blast doing it!


  1. I think a lot of people fall into habits based on that environment, which they experienced during a formative period. Which sounds all snooty [cough] but basically, people who learned How The World Works in high school, and never updated that info, tend to keep behaving as though that's how the world works.

    Someone who was successful then had the image reinforced, so they keep playing it out later on. It worked before, so keep doing it. That actually makes some sense, even if we can feel sorry for them.

    Someone who wasn't successful in high school, but still believes that's how the world works, might work harder to succeed under that model, try new things, and either become successful (from that POV) as an adult, or keep failing, but keep trying to hit those markers of success because they're the only ones he/she knows.

    It's sadder, I think, to see people who weren't successful in high school, and still aren't terribly successful (from that POV) now, who keep struggling to play by high school rules. You have to admire their determination and perseverance, even if it's sad that they're missing a whole different worldview that'd make things so much easier for them -- and for others around them.

    But yeah, ignoring them and doing our own thing is probably for the best. :/


    1. The whole high school paradigm is the very definition of insanity--doing something over and over that doesn't work. (With all due respect to the crazy-haired kid in physics class. *smile*)

  2. The drama is all over too. Not just our industry. :-(

    1. *sigh* I know, but there's a reason you and Angie are pretty much the only writers I talk to anymore.