This is another of those posts where I might get a little . . . well, I might say things that are going to offend your delicate sensibilities. So you might not want to read beyond this paragraph. Instead, you could see what it would be like if a few guys had working Portal guns.
With that said, onward.
I love a good meme. I really do. My daughter and I are always trying to find memes to enjoy together. Most of the time, it’s little more than reverting back to that oldie by goodie, “The Cake is a Lie,” which, after her birthday last week, we know isn’t.
There are two I tend to enjoy, mostly because they are funny and thought provoking at the same time. One is Philosoraptor, who spends his time unraveling the marvels of self and universe–such as wondering about the Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel, or if he is just human, or a dancer. My other favorite is Condescending Wonka, who always has some smart ass retort that is edged in truth–even to the point of making fun of himself.
Often, though, memes tend to get on my nerves, because it seems like a lot of memes are meant to be dumb and/or annoying without sense or reason. The one making the rounds of late has been the “Rachael Ray cooks her family and dog,” which is suppose to show one the importance of using commas–which we writers should know about very well. This one bother’s me for a few reasons. One, most people seem more upset that Rachael is eating her dog–fuck the family, yo, she chowed down on my Dead Dog Rover, how evil! The other thing that gets me is that someone actually photoshopped out the commas before passing the sucker around. Of course, memes are nothing but photoshopping, so it’s par for the course. It would be funnier if the magazine cover had went out without the commas, and then she could tell us how to serve Fricassee of Daughter, and go on at length about what Boswell the Boxer taste like. (Hint: like pot roast. I know.)
Another that was going around was one that caused me to actually block a few people over the last week was the photoshopping of someone ripping on the president because he went to three fundraisers on 6 June. Because he wasn’t honoring D-Day, his unpatriotic ass should be kicked out and replaced with, I don’t know, a soulless corporate robot who would probably love to bust out this joint? Shit like this totally pisses me off, if for no other reason that if one uses their Google Fu–which I do from time to time–and look at the records of others–say, the president before the current one–they can find some interesting facts. Like, sure, the last president presided over the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004, and the dedication of the WWII Memorial in 2001–which, face it: any president is going to do, like it or not–he also gave a speech at the New Mexico/Mexico border on illegal immigrants in 2005, and went to the G8 meetings in 2007 . . . but, bestest of all, on 6 June, 2002, the Department of Homeland Security was created. And, hey, nothing say, “Support the Troops that Fought Fascism” like bringing into existence the largest crypto-fascist organization in the world.
The one that has me up in the air a lot, however, is one that my fellow writers have been latching onto like a drowning Leo DiCaprio to a floating hunk of furniture. It’s a list of a number of best selling books, and how many times they were rejected, headed up with the title, “Why Support Indie Writers?” Besides being etched upon the damnedest green background ever, it’s supports a very false equivalence–
I mean, lets look at it: Carrie, rejected 30 times (actually 26, but lets not split hairs). M*A*S*H 17 times. Harry Potter a dozen times. And the Chicken Soup for the Soul book–140 times. Yes, these independent writers need support because . . .
Hold on. Wait just a minute. Lets get something straight right now. All writers are, to be honest, “indie writers”. Unless you’re working for James Frey, churning out the next crapterpiece like the Chinese slave who made the iPad you’re reading this post upon, you’re an indie writer. You’re on your own. You’re writing somewhere, doing it with no assistance but what you bring to the table, and you’re trying to get into the market. Sure, you might have a multibook contract, but are you actually working for that publisher? Hell, no. You’re your own person.
So, okay: you’ve got your book out there, just like James Joyce did with Dubliners after 22 rejections (Happy Bloomsday, by the way), and damn it all, you’re now the indie writer who’s being supported! Bully for you!
‘Cept you’re not being supported unless someone buys your work. I mean, I’m never buying any of the Chicken Soup books, so how I am supporting those writers?
Lets face it: you don’t support indie writers by being happy they got published. I’ve got two stories published, and I’m working on two more. You happy for me? Really? Good. Then buy my shit. That’s how you support indie writers. That’s how you support any writer.
None of the writers in that meme would be known today if someone wasn’t buying their work. The only way the public can support writers is though the purchasing of their work, and the word of mouth. Hit the bricks and get the word out there about how freakin’ good they are, how they transcend the written word and take you to another space. How they are writing machines that put goodness into their work, and make you feel yummy in the tummy.
Sending out memes about how many times someone was rejected isn’t going to help them get support. I’m two-for-two in the sales category, but until my story sales get up there where J.K. has hers, I’m still struggling. As are a lot of my fellow indie writers who like to pass around memes about getting support from the public by showing how many times they might be rejected before hitting the big time.
Help out a fellow writer, will ya, mate?
For all you know, you might be putting yourself in the position of being able to say, “Oh, him? I was reading him before he was popular . . .”
Trust me: I’ll love you for it.