Writers: Just Effing SAY It!

Over at Dear Author is a post and discussion about the merits/demerits of writers voicing their opinions.

This bit really got under my skin:

Women have to work twice as hard to gain respect as men do. This is as true in the real world as it is on the internet.

And so, of course, I left a Comment.

Really, if there are readers out there who are going to drop your books because you’re a thinking human being who dares to have independent thought, well, those readers can just go fuck themselves.

I don’t give a damn whether a writer supports Bush, McCain, Obama, or Nader. Whether a writer is pro or anti abortion. Whether a writer favors government regulation or sees government as a stifling force that distorts free choices. It’s the art that matters. I can even appreciate bits of self-alienated drug-addicted psychotic Ayn Rand, for crying out loud, and there’s probably very little we would have agreed on as people.

If a writer worries about offending someone, then that cowardice is bound to show itself in the work too. “Oh my god, this would be so great for this scene — but wait, what will people think?!”

Fuck. That. Shit.

I think it was Ayn Rand herself who once stated (loosely paraphrased): “Afraid of what? Being disapproved of by people you despise to begin with?”

Readers come and go. They always will.

Writers fall into and out of fashion.

Readers sometimes outgrow writers or writers leave readers behind.

There never will be — can’t be — a perfect balance with either art or life.

I’ve ripped people apart left and right in this blog. I stood before one in person whose firing I called for in this blog.

I ripped another two and even told them not to Follow me on Twitter. They now Follow me on Twitter — and I them — and we get along just fine.

It’s about ideas, not individuals.

Any reader who can’t stand a writer being a different human being is a reader all writers can do without.

I’d rather have a small group of discerning, intelligent readers over a fat wad of the scared masses any day.

So should you.

Previously here:

Some People Ignore Hints
Today’s Advice For Writers
Charles Bukowski: Outsider, Writer, Poet
This Made Me Snort

Explore posts in the same categories: Reference - Life, Reference - Writing, Uncategorized, Writers - Dead, Writers - Living, Writing

6 Comments on “Writers: Just Effing SAY It!”

  1. logophilos Says:

    Mike, I too believe in Fuck that Shit.

    But when I say that kind of thing (I’m Ann Somerville on that thread, so you can see exactly what I’m talking about,) I get other women telling me off for using profanity, and telling me I’m mean, and cruel, and vulgar, and that they will never read my work again. I also get lumped in with fraudsters and criminals for being too…unfeminine.

    I don’t actually want readers who think like that but it’s an example of how tone is picked over by and for women, when men don’t suffer it.

    Of course, black people get exactly the same bullshit response from white men and white women, so I suppose it’s only justice in a way.

    In other words – if I made this post (and I have) I get it in the neck from female authors and readers. You and Toddy Goldbrat can say what you like and how you like and your readers stand up and applaud. There’s the double standard.

  2. mikecane Says:

    I don’t know what to say to that. I pointed to two women-written blogs that have a Fuck That Shit attitude and both are popular. I’ll have to look at your site/blog.

  3. logophilos Says:

    I pointed to two women-written blogs that have a Fuck That Shit attitude and both are popular.

    Ah, but are they romance authors? Romancelandia is more like an all girls high school. The only time guys wander in, they mostly want to trash us. The very few male readers who respect us, we pet and hug and call them George.

  4. mikecane Says:

    Romancelandia is a ghetto. Ghettoes aren’t good.

    If you call me George, I’ll have to cut you. That’s the name of the worst President in modern history here!

  5. mikecane Says:

    Oh, and one more thing. See here:

    It might seem I disdained romance writing there — but apparently it was that one book I tried (which I still suspect was written by a *man* who hated his women readers) because you can see my reaction to what I read in the sample. Dear God, imagine someone judging SF from the worst of that genre — which is what people have done! Same thing for comic books. And TV (OK, well, TV mostly deserves it, doesn’t it?).

  6. logophilos Says:

    That’s the name of the worst President in modern history here!

    Sorry, blame John Steinbeck.

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