WARNING: This post might venture into rant-territory. I try to keep my official rants few and far between, but I’m fired up!
So… I’ve now been to a few writers’ conferences and I’m noticing an irritating theme. In a community where we each struggle with the process of writing our books, screenplays, poems, etc. there is still judgement.
I’ll sit across from a new face and ask them what they write. “Sci-fi,” I hear, or “fantasy,” from another. I think cool. It must be incredibly challenging, but equally rewarding, to build a world from scratch or to imagine how technology could affect us in the future. I admire their efforts. In turn, I am asked what I write. I vary between saying “chick lit” (if I think they’ll understand what that means) or romantic comedies.
I get a look. A raised eyebrow. Not always, but often enough. I even hear comments like “chick lit is delightful but silly.” Those people drive me up the wall. They’re dismissive of my genre either because they are familiar with it and dislike it, or are not familiar at all and are making a snap judgement.
Now, I know that I’m not alone with this. Romance writers experience it. Sci-fi, fantasy, spec-fic, literary writers, etc. WE ALL EXPERIENCE IT.
Why??? Why are we judging what each other reads or writes? It’s no more difficult to create a fantasy world than it is to make someone feel emotion or to laugh out loud. I hear that my genre is “easy to read” as though that’s a bad thing. Do you know why it’s easy to read? Because people can’t put the books down. In my world, that’s a pretty awesome quality.
The bigger issue to me is that as fellow writers we should all appreciate the effort that each of us puts into our work. Regardless of your genre, regardless of whether it is traditionally or self-published, can we please just support one another? Can we please stop with the book bashing, the genre bashing, or just quit with the judgement?
We’re all facing steep challenges in the world of publishing. It’s not easy. It can be heartbreaking. It can also be rewarding. But that’s all the more reason, in my mind, to support one another and drop the judgement.
I would like to be a writer in a world where I can read what I want, write what I want, without a negative look or comment. I don’t feel like I’m asking for a world of rainbows, unicorns and kittens here. Am I?
How do you feel about this? How do you support your fellow authors of different genres?