Let me ask you a question. Do you attend a writer’s group? Do you have a twitter account and follow a bunch of other writers for inspiration, and “To have somebody in the trenches with you”? Do you regularly send out tweets about, “Gotta whip this WIP into shape!” or “500 words today, not perfect, but it’s progress.” ???
You do? Okay, cool. I kinda do too, but I think the fact that we have all these writers’ groups, workshops, conferences, twitter groups, online places for writers, etc, are weakening writing as a whole.
Let me explain something to you, and this may sound callous, but trust me, it isn’t. Now, if you’ll grant me a little latitude, and I can explain this properly, I think you’ll see where I am coming from, and it will make some sense.
First things, first. I am not a dick. So don’t think that by me saying these things, I am. If you knew me personally, you’d probably like me. So with that disclosure out of the way…
I think modern medicine, in all its facets, is weakening our species. You see, species are set up so the strong survive. Let me be clear, I have nothing against the weak, but that’s not the usual method species of any sort continue to exist. All species cull the weaker part of their collective simply by letting the weaker parts of the species die and not procreate. This also gets rid of the “not so smart” elements too.
We, of course are humans. The supreme species of this planet. We rule this thing with an iron fist. But, we help the weak out too much. (Once again, I am speaking purely from a scientific perspective here. I am not talking about killing the weak, or anything as macabre as that.) We have mental hospitals where we help the weak-minded get past whatever is ailing them mentally, perhaps saving thousands of lives from suicide…to only perpetuate the problem, as they procreate and make more of their kind, with that same genetic flaw.
People with severe allergies…we keep them alive. They procreate, and make more of their kind with that inherent flaw in their DNA.
These are only a few examples for the sake of brevity. But you can see, from a purely survival perspective that we as humans are weakening the gene pool, instead of strengthening it like we used to in the past. This cannot lead to anywhere good, except our eventual crash as a species.
But that’s just getting your feet wet. The reason I brought you here is because I think the very same thing is happening in writing. We are creating this belief that anyone can write a piece of prose and get it out there. We are telling people they can succeed if only they have enough desire and no-quit attitude. We are empowering a group of people who should never send out one piece of literature to anyone besides their mothers. (And no, I’m not saying I am not in that crowd, so I am not getting all arrogant on you…just sayin, so bear with me!)
By providing all this, “support” to weaker writers, the really good writers are having a tough go of it. They are finding it harder to get through the bone weary agents who are worn down from sifting through all the shitty slush out there by hacks who will NEVER write a good story.
I mean, come on. Do you think Faulkner or Hemingway read inspiring stories about how to be great writers? Do you think Stephen King attended writing conferences, hoping to meet an agent? Do you think Fitzgerald would ever click on a link that said, “Improve your character’s depth in three easy steps!” You think Ayn Rand would ever blog, “5000 words today! Shrug Atlas, shrug!” Richard Russo tweeting, “Man, just got home, now time for bath, and to get to that WIP!”
Those fools just sat their asses down in a chair and WROTE. Why? Because they are true writers. They are the people who should be writing prose for the masses. They are just good writers. They are not the weak propped up by a system than attempts to reward the weak for their weak skills. They are true writers.
The natural selection for writers is being usurped by an environment of the weak propping up the weak, and lying to them about their possibilities of making it!
If you are truly a good writer, kick ass! Keep it up. I’d like to read your stuff sometimes. If you are not, well… shit. You probably don’t know you suck do you? You probably think persistence is going to get you published, come hell or high coffee.
Wait. Why am I even writing this? If you’re good, you don’t care, and if you suck…you think you’re good.
Tell you what, send me the first 5 pages of your WIP, and the surrounding information (query, synopsis, etc), and I will save you years of pain, suffering, working on your story for hours at a time, when watching TV would be a better use of it, and tell you you suck up front. That way you can go on with whatever your life is supposed to be, and the rest of the writing community can move forward because it’s culled the weak.
I will cull you all!
ps. I’m really not a dick… really!