It has to be said that in the current world of the written word, occasionally good old fashioned green eyed envy rears its ugly head. Along with envy comes jealousy and professional hatred, combined with personal loathing for you when your books sell in their thousands each year. In particular this usually applies to an ‘Indie’ after he or she parted company with his or her former publisher, editor or agent, to strike out on their own. A few of the aforementioned simply cannot stomach the idea that you have succeeded without them.
It is a fact that in the world of the written word, there is still a hell of a lot of professional snobbery. How many independent writers of your acquaintance have ever received a begrudging “well done” from their former trad or small press publishers? I’m betting that its next to none.
Instead, what the vast majority of us are guaranteed to receive from them is nothing but unmitigated harsh criticism and scorn. Why? Because since parting company with them, we have experienced varying degrees of literary success in the only way that really matters in the end – multiple book sales each month!
Even one or two writers who’s own sales are to all intent and purpose none existent add to the mix usually by adopting a pseudonym to add their bile, invective and scorn in the form of a one star troll review. We have all had them at one time or another.
On behalf of all ‘Indies’ I have only one thing to say to each and every one of you – for god’s sake get over yourselves! When you have a literary success, I will be among the first to congratulate you, not criticize and belittle as you are doing.
Lastly, E.L James is a classic example of someone who has experienced envy, jealousy, hatred and loathing, mostly from within the industry. The simple fact that her first book – Fifty Shades of Grey has achieved success is anathema to a lot of the so-called professionals in the writing game. So what if the original was chock full of errors? Millions of readers didn’t give a damn. They loved it!!!
Once mainstream publishing realised that she had written a winner it was already too late. They had their chance and blew it. The point is that her book appeals to millions of readers worldwide. I say good for her!
Call yourself a writer?
Have you ever noticed how many how to articles apparently written by supposedly successful writers are on offer these days? But can they truly call themselves successful I wonder? Most seem to be total unknowns with a chip on their shoulder; completely obsessed with something like the old chestnut show, don’t tell. Then there are the anal retentives, equally obsessed with what they perceive as the misuse of the humble apostrophe and comma.
How to articles are springing up everywhere of late. The social media site Facebook is infested with them. I signed up for a Facebook writer’s group several months back in the naive belief that it would be an outlet for writers to offer work for discussion. Instead, I was disappointed when every day that I went to it I found nothing but endless numbers of how to articles or far worse, someone jealously trashing a successful writer’s work.
To all of these individuals I merely say this – thinking about writing or talking about writing or worrying about writing is not writing.
Unfortunately, these days Goodreads is also infested with the same disease. There are endless discussion groups dedicated to tearing apart the work of successful authors. To give you an example, one of Goodreads’ groups is dedicated to trashing the work of Dan Brown. Who gives a damn about the quality of his writing so long as you enjoy reading it? Dan certainly doesn’t, he’s laughing all the way to the bank. The guy found a formula that works and he’s milking it for all its worth. Good luck to him says I.
It is my firmly held belief that there are far too many failed writers out there spewing bile and bad advice in their new guise of armchair critic. The classic example of this is the number of poorly written reviews for practically any book you care to name, currently found on Amazon. I put it down to green eyed envy on the part of the so-called reviewer, plus their own lack of literary success. Far better that instead of proffering what amounts to their completely unwarranted personal opinion; they should get back to basics and improve their own writing skills. Who knows, one day they may even manage to get something of theirs into print, and to sell. Then they will become the next automatic target for the jealous wannabe writer, drawing attention away from the rest of us.
Now that you’ve all read this, get back to your keyboard/pen and write till your fingers bleed!