In the comments of an earlier post today, Justin Taylor referred to the concept of people commenting over and getting upset about things in relation to ‘the inclusion of ME,’ which he is dead-on right, is often a big reason anyone whines about anything in writing. Writers, by nature, are often a very self-obsessed and self-aware bunch (‘Oh cool, nice on your story coming out, I have one coming out too…’) and probably somewhat in many cases by sheer means of survival, in that it’s such a slim game already. But I also think that this phenomenon, while perhaps at least in some way bent in their own mind to keep them afloat, is not only often troublesome and awkward, but part of the reason why in the end many writers give up.
There’s no argument that to get work published over time, no matter who you are, really, (unless you’re like Salman Rushdie’s son) takes a hell of a struggle. There are a limited number of venues out there and definitely limitless folks with things they want to say, so the idea that someone should get upset or angry about receiving, say, a form rejection letter ignoring their work (no matter what the reasons they feel this happened are) is ludicrous. Sure, it stings some, but in the end, we’re really all just people in the same boat and things happen for a reason. It’s an achingly cringe-worthy thing when people take it as a personal affront, or believe there is a conspiracy against them wherein the editors only publish their friends (which, yeah, definitely happens, and probably a lot, but there are reasons for this, which I will head into after the jump…)