I have been doing a lot of small/indie press reading this month during Nanowrimo. While I write at breakneck speed (more about that later, this year is good) my submission schedule is slowed down and I’ve been exploring.
My raw feelings are as follows.
I listen to podcasts, I read things other writers who are far more famous than me, I look at the books people are excited about and I feel the looming blanket of exclusion.
I read and listen to a lot of probably very nice people and I get that feeling, it’s a familiar feeling. It’s the feeling that prompted me to write the piece in The Battered Suitcase. It’s the same feeling that got me hooked into blogging about body politics and fatness. It’s why I blog (in my personal blog here) about race and sex and being an Ugly Girl.
There is so much talk from Nice Pretty White Ladies* (this seems to be a literary trend right now) writing books about other nice pretty white ladies who oh no gained some weight and it’s ever so awful but then they lost it HURRAY we have a heroine. They are delicate nice ladies who are pretty, beautiful even but tragic because they are full of self loathing.
There is lots of talk about beef between MFA programs. People arguing about MFA programs.
Overall lately I feel like this.
What if lightening strikes (shit I almost wrote flashes..I hate that fucking song) and I publish an actual book.
What if I meet any of these probably perfectly nice people?
I don’t think I could stop the loop of things I’ve heard or read them say and I am not sure it wouldn’t be all over my face.
I find myself feeling reluctant to submit to certain publications because I think okay well, if X person saw me would they instantly be full of loathing and pity because I’m fat?
Would I shrink away from conversations with my supposed peers the way I do online because I have no stake or opinion about what one should do in order to become an awesome writer?
People with the privilege to not to need to think about these things often tell me just not to think about. Write your words, you do you etc etc.
That kind of cheerleading while well intended just stings.
Sometimes I hate that I do have so much of a background in talking about (on the internets and in meatspace) intersectional things and social justice etc. I can’t turn that off apparently.
I used to be able to.
Once upon a time I had an erotica website editor ask me to change one of my characters from Black to White because she “had plenty of interracial stories”.
That sort of thing hurts.
Perhaps I’m more navel gazey than usual. Or I’m less able to shut down my sensibilities than I used to be.
On one hand (in the case of the anti-fat rhetoric) I want to write a personal essay type piece about being an actual fat bitch. Write it out of spite and submit it and make some people uncomfortable.
On the other hand, I don’t want to bother.
I don’t know.
I don’t want to participate in, rail against or fight the cult of hotness. I just want to write my stories and maybe get read on occasion.
I suppose at the end of it I feel like I am not a big enough deal to really do anything about these things on a largeish scale. All I can do is keep doing my thing and telling the stories I want to read and hope that some other people want to read them too.
I’ve been ruminating and stewing about this for too long. Writing it down made me feel better. It doesn’t make it all go away but it makes it a little better.
Now if y’all will excuse me, I need to get some shit done.