Random Ruminations

Posted: December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

Random Ruminations

I rarely talk of, or dwell or concentrate on negative aspects in the writing world. Mainly because there are too many good things going on or I’m too damn busy with myriad projects at any given time. And for the most part, these more unpleasant happenings and occurrences don’t impact on me, have zero effect on my writing or output, book sales or what have you, but I have seen how they impact on friends and create unnecessary ripples and tensions where none should be.

The horror scene is one that is absolutely packed with brilliant people, stellar writers, supportive souls, wonderful fans and folks who will go the extra mile to lend a helping hand to all kinds, be they new writers looking for assistance, people needing some attention drawn to various projects, publishers needing a replacement to jump in on and help out with a suddenly vacant spot for something or other, others just needing general advice on all manner of miscellaneous matters.

One only needs to check out the level of excellence assembled in two very recently released horror anthologies (I’m going to be posting another post after this which will focus solely on these two books) and the people that got themselves involved in these works to realise how wonderful the vast majority of folks in the horror scene are. Because the proceeds of sales from both of these books goes directly to charity and all writers going into these projects were completely aware of this, and dove headlong into them wholeheartedly and gave their all to their stories to create top shelf products that any horror fanatic would be crazy not to get hold of.

I’m proud to be a part of both of these books, but what’s more is, I’m proud to be a part of the horror community. I love it, I love the vast majority of folk in it and I love to be involved in it, in many capacities.

Unfortunately, like most scenes, it isn’t without its pitfalls, negative things and all round general fuckery. (Shit, I come from the metal scenes and sometimes one could hold up a mirror to one scene and see the reflection of the other in it. Fuckery abounds in both).

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small percentage of bad apples (for lack of a better word), but often that’s still too many. I’m talking sniping, Chinese Whispers, outright lies and slander, petty vendettas, biting the hand that feeds, talking utter rubbish about other writers or publishers, using people for own personal gains, all sorts of bizarre agendas,stepping on anybody possible in a bid to climb to the top and then pretending it was done alone, riding coat-tails, cashing in on the success of others, a lack of any gratitude in various respects, shit I could probably fill a Plebs-sized book with some of the things I’ve heard and/or been witness to. And I hear a lot, so just as in the metal scene, I know what’s going on. Now, I mostly couldn’t give a fuck about this; I observe, I see what’s what and I know who will either come crashing down or find themselves boxed in without any real other avenues out, but as I mentioned, some of this fuckery has either impacted on friends or associates of mine, or been detrimental in some way. Ultimately, regardless who it impacts on, it’s not cool.

You might be a brand new fledgling writer looking to get yourself out there, looking to get known or acknowledged. Don’t bite the hands of anybody if they’ve been extended to help you in any capacity.

You might have parted ways with a publisher for one reason or another. Unless that’s some serious shit going on which probably should end up in court, or there’s some major fucking money issues, don’t badmouth them to all and sundry.

You might be an established writer who had plenty of assistance, tips, help and pointers to get you headed on the right direction. You might suddenly blow up and become an overnight success, or some such shit. You might be the next big thing. Don’t forget where you came from. Because even if you do, all those you stepped on, on the way up, sure as hell won’t forget.

You might be too easily swayed by others’ opinions. Fuck that. Form your own opinion.

Be careful about what bridges you burn. Some of those motherfuckers aren’t going to be rebuilt. The old once bitten twice shy adage works well here. People don’t like to be associated with somebody who has proved untrustworthy or too eager to shoot off their mouth half-cocked.

You might have issues with others in your community, well, that’s always going to happen, whatever the community. Either sort it out, or just move along. Agree to disagree. Some folks will never see eye to eye, and who cares to? Not everybody can be friends, not everybody will be friends, but there is an ability for most adults with a capacity for lateral thinking to be able to coexist. If there’s an issue, you can address it or you can choose to get on with life without making it the focus of your existence. Dredging up shit and beating it like a red-headed stepchild is tedious, counter-productive and a waste of time for everybody that gets dragged into it, directly or otherwise. Any of the random shit I’ve had the misfortune of somehow being indirectly involved with is precisely this, though it doesn’t hinder my writing or other work at all. It’s just like that fucking mosquito that keeps buzzing around your head when you’re trying to sleep. You’ll fall asleep eventually, but not before you wish you could splatter that motherfucker against the wall.

Most of all of this bullshit is white noise to me and I treat it as such, but since not all people would feel that way, I wouldn’t suggest they try to tune it out. There’s some pretty insidious stuff that goes on at times, some bollocks and slanderous rubbish that spins completely out of control, some of it impossible to ignore. After all, even white noise can get pretty fucking aggravating when it’s incessant.

Can’t we all just get along, you say? Nah, fuck that too. There are people who I would intentionally choose not to get along with, because they’ve revealed their penchant for inane fuckery, and agendas both hidden and not so hidden which detract from writing and serve no benefit, or in any way aid the overall community. So, no I’d never suggest we all try and get along, because that is an impossible scenario with too many different personalities that are bound to clash under any given circumstances. All I would suggest is if you are in it to write, then write. If you’re in it for any other reason, fuck off out of here.

If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times and I suspect I’ve got at least another million times to say it. I write because I love to write. Point blank. Simple. I make money out of what I write, but that’s a bonus added to the love of writing. It’s always cool seeing people appreciate and dig the stories I write, and knowing they have similar tastes to me because I’m writing the tales that I love to read.

I submit to paying markets, I submit to non-paying markets, I write for charity, I write books because I have thousands of stories in me I want to tell. Bottom line. I didn’t walk into this expecting I’d sell my first story for a bajillion dollars and swan out of it rich. If you’re in it for that purpose, then probably best to fuck off out of it right now too (I think I’m horribly mangling a similar statement made by Jack Ketchum in that regard). In fact I didn’t even start with stories, I started off with a novel, and even then I didn’t go into it thinking it was a money making enterprise. I subbed it because it was a book I loved writing and I wanted to share the story with others, and that’s still a prime factor in writing stories today. I love telling stories and if I’m getting paid for some of them, sweet. If I’m subbing them to help out others, then I’m supremely cool with that too. I’ve no problem building up a great resume of writing publications and credits, and if there’s no money in some of them, so be it. So many people out there are staunchly against non-paying markets, and that’s all well and good, each to their own. At some stage in a writer’s career, they’ll be able to consider that and pick and choose, and be a little more selective, but coming straight out of the gate and thinking you’re going to crack the moneypot from the word go is hilarious. I’ve explored this whole scenario in another post, so I’m not going to rehash it again, but there are two schools of thought on the whole paying, non-paying market thing and that’s up to each person to decide where they sit with it. It’s pretty damn simple to me, that shit’s all about balance. Again, not everybody is likely to be on the same page with that, but anyway…

I’m going to keep on writing, keep on paying homage to the folks who inspire me, keep on supporting the horror community and those in it. I’m going to continue to sub to paying markets, to non-paying markets. I’m going to keep writing for charity, I’m going to keep assisting those who need or want it. I’m going to keep handing out pointers, tips, advice, what-have-you. I’m going to keep scouting fine extreme horror talent for WetWorks, I’m going to continue writing big-ass books. I’m going to keep on slinging bloody ink and scribbling horrific tales. I’m going to keep doing what the fuck I love to do.

And since black metal is perfect for drowning out white noise, I reckon I’ll put some of that on too.

 

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