I don’t typically write on Fridays and I didn’t today. I pondered about beta readers, and critique partners, and Twitter, and editing help. I don’t mean to sound like a curmudgeon, but I don’t get a lot of the freebie contests on Twitter. It seems like a lot of frantic, harried activity somewhat the equivalent of the harrumphing scene from Blazing Saddles. “I didn’t get a harrumph out of that guy,” Hedley Lamar cries out. Right, that’s me sitting at the keyboard trying to make sense of my Tweetdeck during Scream Pitch, or Crazy Con, or Go Fucking Nuts Day.
I can be supportive, really. I like people, I like giving feedback, and I like getting it. I like Twitter. But the “Business of Writing” crammed into 160 characters is bad enough, much less some frenzied, 1,000-posts-an-hour contest to win a free agent/editor/cheerleader/pony. I’ve tried a few of these and there was another today.
To clarify: I think the people who put these things on and give their time are angels, truly; and, the people who sweat, jitter, and submit deserve credit for working hard for their writing efforts. I just personally don’t get it. I want to crack my skull open with a screwdriver writing a traditional query letter, much less all of this.
I’ve also had mixed results finding good matches for betas, CPS, etc. Neither my personality nor my writing lend itself to easy, feel good matches for these things. I keep hoping Twitter will reveal it’s dark, twisted alleys where I can hang out with other Type B, snarky freaks. Not alleys too dark or twisted, mind you, because then I’ll get all creeped out. I want to be where the fucking weird people are, the ones who don’t understand why everyone is so Stepford happy in a lot of these Twitter writing communities. Does everyone write YA romance? WTF? What the hell is everyone so chipper about?
Maybe I’ve had one too many people look at my first three chapters and react with, “Oh, umm, WTF, I don’t read weird, bestial depravity. Thanks though!” I am not trying to insult anyone who has offered to help because I am very appreciative of even the offer. It just wears on my psychological profile; it all will remain on my permanent record, the one I keep in my own head.
Even professional people—you know, the ones who get paid for their services—have turned me down due to some of the topics I write about. It’s very disconcerting to have someone say, “I don’t want your money, your writing disturbs me.”
Of course, my immediate, impulsive reaction wants me to say:
I never do, though, and simply respond kindly. I generally recoil from being a dick, though have been pushed on occasion. Keepin it real.
I don’t lack confidence, and I am not writing about torturing babies or trying to pass off a serious, literary version of The Aristocrats. If this were manga, it would be downright passé. I simply need to find the right accomplices. So, since I couldn’t submit to the contest that was going on today (I won’t identify by name, but it was one where freelance editors choose winners for their services), I reached out to one of these editors to just fucking hire them. I gave them a sample. The beginning of my book lays out all the violence and sexual taboo pretty clearly, as does my letter. So, we’ll see.
If this doesn’t work, I’m going to begin to wonder about the state of the world and my ability to communicate with it, and just start screaming, “Who wants my fucking money? I write slightly deviant shit and what the fuck is it to you anyway?”