The Conspiracy Against New Writers

• I’ve got a book signing 12/17 at 7:00 at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor.  Just in case any of you A2 folks need Christmas gift ideas 🙂  The last time I did an Ann Arbor signing, we got one of the nastiest blizzards I can remember.  I’m hoping this doesn’t become a pattern.

Dragovianknight made this wonderful Christmas LJ icon from the cover of Mermaid.  I love it!

• For those of you who read electronically, Fictionwise is running a pretty nice sale.  Looks like 40% off of short fiction, and 50% rebates on e-books.  (Including my own stuff.)


Came across a post responding to the pay rate discussion and protesting how the snobby pros are pulling up the ladder, trying to keep new writers out.  I know a fair number of successful authors these days, and the idea that pro writers are scared of the newbies and spending all this time and energy working to exclude them … is kind of dumb.

Of all the things I worry about, of all the things that can hurt my career, new  writers don’t even make the footnotes.  Many pro authors go out of their way to try to help new writers, and to repay the help we received.  Most either celebrate the success of the new folks, or else simply don’t have the time or the interest to notice them.  But nobody’s trying to keep the newbies down (no matter how much Publish America and their ilk try to convince you otherwise while they take your money).

How can I put this delicately?  The biggest reason it’s so hard for new writers to break in is because most of us suck when we’re new.  Myself included.  I wrote hundreds of thousands of words of utter crap while learning how to do this.  Sure, I was discouraged by all the rejection.  I felt shut out.  I had my days where I felt like a martyr and a victim.

But believe me, it had nothing to do with pros being scared of me as a newbie, or conspiring to keep the good markets all to themselves.  It had nothing to do with editors only buying work from Big Names.  It had to do with the fact that my work wasn’t good enough yet.[1. Ann Leckie wrote a very good post deconstructing the “write better” advice, including some of the assumptions and flaws with that advice.  Worth reading.]

If you disagree with what folks are saying, that’s one thing.  Sometimes the pros are wrong.  Do your research and make your own decisions.  But if you’re going to argue, please try to come up with something better than The Grand Conspiracy Against New Writers?