Writer Wednesday: Joining the Conversation
Good morning authors and welcome to the middle of the week. This is a slightly different post than usual but one I feel the need to write. Today is a shorter post, we are going to touch on what has been happening in the author community this week and how these situations ripple through an industry.
To be blunt publishing can be incredibly cliquey. There are sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle divisions in different levels of publishing that still, in 2021, with all the avenues to success that exist, pervade among authors of varying class, race, and even the publishing avenues they take. This week was not the first or last time that these divisions have been drawn into the open, and the onus fell onto a BIPOC to do so, a recurring issue that leaves marginalized authors in the writing community in an even harder position.
A position where standing up for bullying and inequality paints marginalized authors as 'problematic', creating a lose/ lose situation. Where they have to risk their own careers, or be entrenched enough after years of being exposed to and enduring bullying before they have the relative security to unleash. Both situations are horrible, and with so many long standing issues being pulled into the light in the last year with societal unrest coming to a head, this is something the industry and the writing community desperately needs to change. Honestly creatives should be the cornerstone of genuine change. Art holds a mirror and a critique to the issues in society.
And some things are changing. The vise grip of industry margins is slowly beginning to crack, and new authors being signed to agents have mentors and allies in the community who came before them. But we as a whole need to do better. Change is not an over night sensation. This is a long haul process. There are still whisper networks in place. There are still gaps to bridge.
But there are ways an individual can aid in that change, today, every day, moving forward. Authors, whether they are indie, self, hybrid, or trad, have control over their own space within the community. Promote and support fellow authors who write in genuine #ownvoices. Be respectful and conscientious of the characters and worlds you create. And take a stance. Even if you are not quite sure what to say or how to begin, you will find your voice and you will find the words.