Writers want to be recognized and known, and somehow we seem to relate being recognized with being published when in reality, writers write. Just reading your work aloud to a group of friends in a coffee shop is giving it wings and life. Sharing our work is vital to our creativity in many cases... but we have been born and bread (or bred n' buttered, as Rae says in Winter's Bone - a fabulous book with a sixteen year old protagonist that should in no way be confused with YA fiction, I find out after reading) into a life of capitalism... very few of us feel successful just writing and being heard in smaller circles, and it's really too bad, since the fact is that publishing is... well, really a crapshoot sometimes. There must be a way to take pride and joy in the smaller things, and consider that success, but I just don't know yet what that is...
(Of course, I say all of this in the wake of my second novel being passed on by three houses thus far. Note I am reminding myself of these things, not preaching to you.)
This is why Phillip Pullman's sharing his work-- free of charge -- with an independent Dutch film company that makes educational films is such a great thing. Most writers seem to be so happy to get paid that it's beyond their ability to think of doing something for free. Free seems to be equated with anonymous and being put-upon... Of course, Mr. Pullman just sold the His Dark Materials works to New Line Cinema, so maybe he's feeling flush... but rich or poor, I thought this was a neat thing to do.
... one can only hope to be as magnanimous in that someday of fame.
Still unhappily imagining the angst of the people in Jackson County, Oregon. I misspoke the other day when I mentioned Jackson County as being a rural town. Um, no. Folks, this is where the Shakespeare Festival is held, yearly. Now I am just bewildered... Politics, shmolitics -- I loved our Bookmobile, but there's nothing like having a library. This really is too bad.
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