Writing, Publishing, and Me

Blog time again. Big week for me, as I was included in Jim C. Hines’ blog about representation in SF/F. (See http://wp.me/p1CqqK-7g for more info.) I want to say, as the cosplayers do, “senpai noticed me!” Maybe it’s not quite that intense, but it feels good to be in the company of such thoughtful, intelligent people. It’s fun to be around people who reject “the way we’ve always done it” and try to find new ideas. Trying to keep up with them keeps my mind working. Simply being associated with them throws more wood on the fire and gets those flames leaping. And that’s what I like.

Not long before that, a writer who shall remain nameless declared that submitting stories to non-paying publications makes you look desperate. Really? Desperate for what? Dude, I write. That’s simply how I am. It’s how my brain organizes, explains, and makes sense of the world. Sure, I’d love to make money from writing, but so what if I don’t? I’m going to write, anyway. I’ve been consciously writing stories for 36 ½ years now, and I’m quite sure I was unconsciously writing them before that. All the games we made up for our Barbies or Dawns or Velvets or the Sunshine family and their baby, Goober-Doober – those were stories. The tales we made up about Molly the dachshund, Jiffer the basset hound, the little rubber animals we bought at M.E. Moses, and our invisible friends – also stories. A crayon and a piece of manila paper never made just a picture; it had a story behind it, too.masked butterfly

It was never an idle sketch of a butterfly. No. It was a Masked Butterfly, complete with holster and gun.

It certainly couldn’t be just a drawing of an armadillo. There was, is, and always be, a story behind it, because that’s the way I am.best armadillo

So I get stories published and I don’t get paid. I’m not desperate. I’m just a writer. I can’t help myself. Sure, I like to see my stories in print. But even if I never publish another thing for the rest of my life, I still will write.

It’s just who I am.

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