Hate Club: Why I Despise Most Published Writers

I hate other writers. But let me be specific. I hate published writers. I don’t think I’m alone in this. It’s a jealousy thing. We all want that recognition. Not just ebook indie-publishing, but in the book store, everyone reading-your-book fame.

Realistically, this doesn’t happen very often. So the hate club builds members. We all channel our collective frustration at those published folks. We say, “I could do that,” or “That book isn’t so good.” When deep down, we yearn to be them.

Today I took a step closer to joining the other side. I’ve found an accomplice in the form of a literary agent. No guarantee of being published (or even selling well) but it’s invigorating to know that someone is basing their income and livelihood on your creative chops.

It reminds me of a Charles Bukowski poem I read once. I’ve scoured my poetry books, but can’t locate it again. It basically had Bukowski commenting on all the haters he had. Those that felt they could write a better poem.

In my search, I did run across this poem about writing. A good one for the Hate Club.

some suggestions

in addition to the envy and the rancor of some of
my peers
there is the other thing, it comes by telephone and
letter: “you are the world’s greatest living

this doesn’t please me either because somehow
I believe that to be the world’s greatest living
there must be something
terribly wrong with you.

I don’t even want to be the world’s greatest
dead writer.

just being dead would be fair

So what have we learned? Even success has it’s downsides.

Feel free to hate.

Tim Kane

Why I Write

I was talking to a friend the other day about how most writers have vastly unrealistic ideas about the business of writing. I once shared their views as well, so this is not purely peering-down-my-nose at “those folks.” We dream of writing one stellar book, becoming instantly famous, and then retiring to a) a yacht in the Caribbean, b) a log cabin in the woods (this the Stephen King dream), or c) a villa in Italy.

I’d laugh if I didn’t have this dream myself. And I can’t say I wasn’t warned. Way back, when I first discovered my passion for writing in a class with Susan Vreeland in my senior year, a local author came to speak to us. His name was Vernor Vinge. If you love SciFi, then you’ve certainly heard of him.

We asked him a multitude of questions, but mostly he tried to illustrate the process, and demystify the glamor. I was like Teflon, and it slid right past me. One thing did stuck. He asked us all why we wanted to be writers. We had to write down our response. Of course visions of books covers with my name on it, money and fame flitted through my head. What I settled on was this: Because I have to.

I’ve spent the last twenty some odd years since then working this out. I find I’m happiest when writing, even when it frustrates me. Maybe it’s because I end the session creating something? Writing offers a level of control that is ephemeral in real life (I think this is the lure of video games to some). That’s my world in there. I created it.

So why do you write? Do you have what it takes to go the long haul?

Tim Kane