Yesterday’s article offended some people. Probably a lot more than actually spoke up. In hindsight I think understand why so I’m going to try to explain in my own words what I did wrong, partly to clarify my understanding for myself and those who saw nothing wrong with ‘Wherefore Art Thou‘. Please let me know if I’ve missed the real point entirely though. It’s quite possible that whatever it is that really upset them is lost on me, and I’d appreciate your input.
Before we get started I’d like to thank those that provided the feedback. Out of respect I won’t be mentioning you by name, or giving any deliberate hint of your identity. I want to encourage feedback. That’s not going to happen if I put everyone who comments under a spotlight. I will not talk about you unless you’ve asked me to. This is not a gossip column. I know I’ve crossed the line in the past, but I’ve learned from this mistake and it will not happen again.
Here we go. The idea of being creative for money is offensive to some. Art should be free, a gift to the world. I get that. Most of us spend the majority of our lives performing a boring, repetitive, menial and/or demeaning job. Not because we want to, but because we feel we have to. Money comes from hard work and misery. Writing isn’t a career, it’s a hobby, something that makes you happy. If I want money I should get a real job, contribute to society and stop being so selfish.
Art, in all it’s forms, brings joy to everyone. Charging people for the privilege of enjoying your creativity limits the access. People who can’t afford to pay for books, art and movies are often those who are in the greatest need of an emotional outlet. It would be cruel and indecent to ask those people for money. My work should therefore be freely available to anyone that wants to read it.
I understand this point of view. Funnily enough the other major complaint sort of makes my counterpoint for me. There are lots of people, including bloggers, asking artists and writers for free content including return for exposure. The way I worded the last article makes it seem like I’m one of them. Please let me clarify. I understand that art and writing isn’t easy. I have chosen to write for a living, and it’s hard work. Getting your ideas to express themselves the way you want on the page or the canvas is a time consuming, frustrating and sometimes harrowing experience.
To outsiders, being ‘talented’ often seems easy, like we have a golden ticket. They think if they could draw, or write, like that then they could quit the grueling 40+ hours a week of mind numbing tedium and live on easy street. It’s not like that. It’s still work, and the majority of it never sees the light of day. Sketches, rough notes, first drafts, dead ends, versions that you just weren’t happy with and had to start over, half formed ideas that never seem to work whatever you try. On top of all of that you might finish something, and be really happy with it, only to find out no one wants it.
What this blog is supposed to achieve is exposure. To get my work out there as I’m writing it. This will hopefully ensure that, by the time the book is ready, people will already be excited for it, and asking for more. They will have free access to the story in it’s entirety right here, but they will also have the choice to show their support and buy a copy of the finished book.
I was hoping that there would be at least one artist interested in joining me in this experiment. I see now though that asking an artist to provide free illustration is wrong. Just as wrong as asking a writer to provide free content, or to ask any of you to provide free criticism and editing. So I’m not going to ask anymore. However, I do still believe that instead of cutting one another down, creative people should be helping each other to achieve whatever level of success they want to achieve. Paid or unpaid.
So here’s my new proposal. If you like my writing style and think you could use someone like me to help make you be more successful, let me know. Perhaps you have a work of art that you would like me to describe, or even write a whole story for, l would relish the opportunity. Maybe you are a comic book artist, with some beautiful characters, but need help telling their story. Musicians, photographers and filmmakers too, if you’re looking for a writer, let me know.
I understand how arrogant it was of me to ask you to help me in return for exposure. Allow me to humbly offer my services instead in exchange for nothing more than the opportunity to get my name out there. However, I reserve the right to withdraw from the project if circumstances require, or I decide that it’s not the right opportunity for me. I’m new at this. I’m still gaining experience. I’m willing and eager to learn from those with more experience than I.
Speaking of which, some of you are wondering, if writing really is so hard, why I’ve decided to quit everything to be a writer. It’s because working for someone else sucks.
I’m willful, and confident of my ability. I try to take charge and do things my own way. I’m not trying to discourage you from working with me, but it’s only fair that you know in advance a little of what you’re getting yourself into. I don’t do humble easily, and I loathe being talked down to. I also don’t enjoy toadying either. An ideal working relationship for me is a collective of equals working together for a common goal. Extremely rare in a traditional workforce, but something I hope can be accomplished amongst my fellow creative artists and writers.
I particularly enjoy writing Warhammer 40k fluff, Gothic horror, religious satire, elaborate Fantasy and Orwellian Sci Fi. I haven’t had much experience with lyrics or poetry, but I’d give it a try. I’ve done content for geeky/nerdy blogs, but I find them limiting. If you think we could work together let me know. If you want me to include a Pingback to your blog in future articles, ask. Likewise, if I have once again said something objectionable or offensive please bring it to my attention.
For now I should be getting more Hermes925 written.
Have a great day.