Ever wonder why I’m angry? This might be a reason…

I need not add anything else:

…many of the things that make me angry are topics that have a direct bearing on my ability to have a successful writing career, it’s hard to tune it all out. This is my livelihood we’re talking about, after all. I need to know if I’m going to have to turn my short story protagonists from female to male, or gay to straight, or whatever, in order to get published in ___ Magazine. … And I need to know which editors and agents and publishers and authors think it’s OK to throw racist and gendered slurs at people who look like me, simply because those people have opinions they disagree with. I might need to work with those editors, etc., later. It’s important to know who to watch out for.

[…]

But I don’t understand why anyone would think I want to do this. Why anyone would think I like watching my blood pressure numbers inch up week by week. Why anyone would think I happily, eagerly “play the race card”, whatever that means — or that doing so would actually benefit me in any way. Why anyone would think I’m glad to spend hours of each week reading up about the latest imbroglios, writing responses to them, posting clandestine reviews of problematic books (and worrying about how those reviews will come back to bite me on the ass), preparing for difficult panels at cons, and bracing myself for uncomfortable interactions at every single networking event I attend. Why anyone would think I gleefully await the next instance of a stranger feeling up my hair, or a favorite author showing his ass on race and gender issues, or an established pro shouting at me that this field is a meritocracy dammit, or an even more established pro using the n-word on a woman just like me. I’m boggled by the idea that some people think I find this work desirable, much less fun, when it hurts me every damn day.

Yes. What she said.

Comments

  1. Eric Gambold says

    The one bright spot, I suppose, is that the ever-growing Blog-realm is accelerating the transition from the “Good Old Days” to a more enlightened, sensitive era. No longer can someone simply deny crass or sexist behavior at a convention, or culturally-oppressive comments made professionally or off-the-cuff, when the Internet is there to quicky document and distribute the moment at hand.

    Not a few writers and editors have found this out in the past few years, and while some are too hoary to ever stop putting their feet in their maws, others are not only adapting but actually learning, even growing, from these experiences.

    So take heart! That you have a well-regarded blog that discusses these matters with passion and intelligence is a weighty step into a better future for all writers.