Sunday, May 28, 2017

[Link] Wisdom from the Fedora on the Mountain -- Egos Checked At The Door, Please...

by Tommy Hancock

I have been accused of wearing many hats.  

In theory, that may be true. In reality, I typically only wear one, although I do have a backup fedora and a ball cap or two for bad hair day rush trips out and about.  But, usually, that appellation is given to me because of the fact that within the Pulp/writing world, I do many things.  I am a writer.  I am an editor, not just for Pro Se Productions, my company, but others as well. I am also a publisher, a partner in the aforementioned Pro Se Productions.  

In each of those roles, and we’ll be lumping editor and publisher together this time around, I experience many things.  Ups and downs. Successes and failures and all manners of things in between.  There are moments of sheer happiness, sometimes bordering on a creative ecstasy of sorts. There are also periods, unfortunately lasting too long often to be considered moments, of depression, sadness, that ‘give up and walk away’ feeling.  What is funny is that although I know that both groups I’m addressing here have a collective narrow view of this, that only they feel this and the other side of the line doesn’t, the issues and feelings that writers and editors/publishers experience are often very similar, if not exactly the same.  They only differ in which side of the creative room the person happens to be standing on.

What I’m about to write is not intended to anger, incense, or push anyone away, although it might.  I made a commitment to myself when I renewed this blogging endeavor that I would use it in ways that would be useful to me, first and foremost, and hopefully to others as well.  What you’re about to read is useful to me in that it allows me to get things said that I feel need to be in a cumulative manner, all at once, and off my chest and out of the way.

It should also be noted and remembered as You proceed through this, that I am guilty of everything I am about to spout against and attack.  I am no better than those of you who may do some of what is about to be listed and in part, this is an exercise to exorcise some of those things from me.

Is this a Pet Peeves post? Yes, in a sense.  But it’s also about some of the biggest stumbling blocks that writers and editors/publishers have in building relationships that can be mutually beneficial.  But, yeah, these are things that get under my skin and scratch like a burr buried deep beneath a newly broken mustang’s saddle.  And, again, I have done and even at times still find myself as the example of every one of them.

It must be noted, creatives of any brand are a passionate, emotional lot.  That happens to be the best thing about us. We invest ourselves fully and wholeheartedly in all we do, if we are doing it right, and we give a chunk of our very being into the work we produce.  That is writer, editor/publisher, sculptor, dancer, and the list goes on.  But, that also means that oftentimes feelings are worn on their sleeves and we sometimes look for any reason to be offended, or to think someone is being thought of better than us, or whatever thing we need to justify the sudden onset of creator doldrums we all go through.  To hopefully limit that before probably inciting full on episodes of it, let me say that I am beginning this discourse by focusing on writers, only because that is where the process between these two sides of the same coin begins.  Editors/Publishers would have nothing to do if it were not for writers, so writers get to go first, only for that reason.

A few thoughts for Writers, first.  You are a big part of the reason that there is even a publishing industry to begin with.  The fact that people feel it is their job, destiny, and/or disease to string words together and get them put on paper, either the print or digital page, so they can be consumed by the ones, hundreds, or millions that might read them makes you a pretty important cog in the literature machine.  

But don’t forget, especially in the way the market has evolved today - You are a cog in a wonderfully colorful rainbow and storm producing machine.