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Monday, October 17, 2011

Literary snobs, use your illusions, and creating our own success

I seldom like to write about or even get on the subject of negativity, because typically negativity just breeds more of the same, but… (you had to know there was one coming!)

I’ve been reading this morning in author’s groups I subscribe to, a thread at LinkedIn, authors being repulsed by the shameless self promotion some authors are engaging in, i.e., Facebook promotions, Twitter feeds, online reviews by “questionable” reviewers, etc.  I laugh at the high mightiness of some very educated writers who look down their noses at those of us who are more self made.  Having a college degree does not a genius make.  Writers like me who write from the heart, have taken some creative writing courses along with some literature and grammar, have spent our own money attending writer’s conferences to learn from professionals who could give us tips and help us through the maze of literature in the 21st century world of electronics, have stories to tell.  It doesn’t take a college degree to be able to weave an interesting tale to hold the readers attention, rather it takes a love for the written word, telling a story that flows well, and spell check helps a lot! But seriously,  I personally work really hard at being literate, articulate, creating a point and doing so while taking the reader on a journey that tells a story that is interesting and engaging without being trite, cliché, while bringing some element of personalization to it.  I’m passionate about the written word.  There is not a minute of the day that I’m not thinking about writing in some form.  My day job consists of much correspondence with both customers and the companies my agency represents, when I’m not working at that I’m *thinking* about writing, typing on the keyboard a story or prose in some form, talking about it with colleagues and/or editors and publishers, querying/being rejected…everything in my life connects with writing and music (my second passion). 

That said, I have no illusions about my writing projects.  Do I expect to be on the NY Times best seller list some day? No.  My author colleagues say you must aspire to this, for not aspiring to greatness such as the NY Times best seller list, lessons my ambition and therefore my level of success.  I say, success is relevant and I’m a realist.  I know I have a very simple style of writing that may not appeal to those college educated geniuses who are looking down through their glasses perched on the end of their ivy league noses, but I hope to appeal to the average reader lending a short escape in a story that is told with lots of heart and passion, for others to enjoy. 

I hesitate to exacerbate hot topics like this because I don’t like to feed into the negativity, but sometimes individual opinions are relevant, and sometimes getting a personal glimpse at flaky people like me lends more of a human element and helps people understand my perspective a little bit more.  I’m known for big hugs, for smiling rather than frowning, being the proverbial flower child spreading joy, laughter and acceptance everywhere I go, and I’d like to be taken seriously as an author, which is the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in life.  It’s not insurmountable, though.  I’m confident in who I am, what I do and want to accomplish, and naysayers have a choice.  I’d simply prefer they go on their merry way to criticize and belittle someone else, or even better…look in the mirror.  That’s the person we all have to be true to and where there’s room for improvement, it starts with self before criticizing others. 

Peace, love and all that other hippie crap on a MONDAY, for goodness sake!

Revolutionarily yours,

~ K

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