Thursday, July 12, 2007

Caution: Soapbox Ahead

Okay, so I end up with over a hundred emails today, and most of them deal with a discussion of the new RWA board decision. (This me: "RWA controversy? Oh. Yadda yadda yadda again, huh?" I don't give my money to RWA simply because $75 is a lot of money for a magazine subscription, since I live in the middle of BFE and any local chapter is at least four hours away. Oh, there is one two hours away, but you try getting any info on it out of RWA's main office. I don't think it really exists. Anyway, me + RWA = yadda yadda yadda.)

{At this point, Connie is reading this, thinking, "What's RWA?"}

So I'm not at Nationals and my publisher bascially is no longer recognized (read Angie the Editor Goddess's classy response here).

But I digress.

Because Kate Rothwell, goddess that she is, nailed the issue today.

I do not need RWA to validate me as an author. I do not need the President of the RWA board telling me that I don't need to "settle" for less than $1000 for my work. H-ello, I wasn't aware I had done so, simply because I went with a small press. I'm looking at clearing over four figures well before the year ends for my writing (not that it's anyone's business but mine).

But listen!

The amount of money I make does not validate me as an author.

RWA does not validate me as an author.

My editor, as dearly as I love her, does not validate me as an author.

Having an agent, which I did once upon a time, does not validate me as an author.

Being multi-contracted does not validate me as an author.

Many of those things are nice. Do I like hearing that my editor loves something I wrote? Yep. Did having two agents asking to sign me within days of one another make me feel good? Sure. Is the royalty check neat? Heck, yeah. What about that multi-contracted status? Yeppers. All fine and dandy and as far as the IRS is concerned, it makes me a "professional writer."

Did I think at one time I needed all that to be validated as a writer? Damn sure did.

I was deluded.

Because this is the key.

Your agent doesn't validate you.

Your editor doesn't validate you.

RWA doesn't validate you.

You validate yourself. And if you spend your time worried about how others view your publisher, your published status, which agent you're with, blah, blah, blah, yadda yadda yadda, then you're not focused on what's important.

The writing.

Because that's what ultimately validates you as an author. What you produce.

Know what I produced this week? 10, 251 words of a book I hope is going to be the best I've written yet.

{Okay, Connie, I'm off my soapbox now. I'll see you tomorrow!}

[PS to Kate: You should come over here. We could get into a knock-down, drag-out about something . . . oh, say, my state vs. yours, or dark chocolate vs. milk, or oh! whipped cream in coffee vs. not . . . we'll start a kerfuffle and work up some promo traffic for both of us.]

[Wait a minute! Kate! My named-for-a-bloodsucking-parasite hero vs. your tesslerat hero! That's it, baby! C'mon. You know you want to.]

1 comment:

Jaye said...

Here, here, Lyn!!! Well said!