I purposely don’t make writing the main focus of my blog. Although I may share my writing experiences and dilemmas as the moment moves me, I don’t feel that I have the expertise to tell others how or what or why in a professional capacity. I had an author-acquaintance (notice I did not say friend) comment that I should be blogging more about the art and craft of writing instead of the “mindless mutter” that I do share, and most especially because I am a black, female author, but I strongly disagreed. It was truly an “oh, hell no” moment. To put it more politely than I put it to her, this is my space and I will blog what I want and for no other reason than I can. If you like it, please come back and do tell a friend. If not, well then it was nice you stopped by for a visit but I certainly understand if you don’t come back again.
Folks looking for writing and publishing how-to can find such easily. There are plenty of blog and web sites that offer an abundance of information, more than any one writer may ever need. I personally frequent www.aalbc.com, www.sormag.com, www.rawsistaz.com, www.book-remarks.com, www.blogginginblack.com, www.romancingtheblog.com, and a host of others for info on what’s happening in the marketplace, with black-authored books, with the romance genre, or to seek writing advice. They’re all great resources to draw from. The folks who maintain these sites know their stuff and do a damn fine job of making information available to those who want it. I take my hat off to Troy, LaShaunda, Tee, Cydney, and the collective literary professionals who do what they do so well and with so much passion.
Writing, and writing well, comes with a long list of challenges. Publishing and all its idiosyncrasies only add to that list. Since becoming published I have found those challenges akin to climbing Mt. Everest with no legs, five hundred excess pounds, and an irritating itch that you can’t reach ‘cause frostbite is nipping at your nubs. This business is hard work and nothing I can say or share is going to make it easier. Toss in the inevitable politics and its a wonder more authors just don’t toss in the towel and change careers.
At the crux of my conversation with this person was the current discussion wafting over the internet about racism in publishing. Lines have been drawn and authors across the board have taken sides about niche marketing and the treatment of black authors versus their white counterparts. The issues being raised are particularly prevalent in the romance and women’s fiction genre. As would be expected you have the voices of reason, the voices of malcontent, and the thundering silence of voices that just don’t want to get caught up in the fray.
Discussions on racism are emotional tidal waves empowered by each individual’s personal experiences with it. Discussing race will easily bring out the very best and the absolute worse in people. Always has and always will. I applaud those who are willing to step front and center to voice their opinions. Authors, Monica Jackson and Millenia Black have much moxie and I applaud their efforts because I know they are taking some serious hits for not biting their tongues. Neither do I begrudge anyone who doesn’t speak out. Not everyone has that kind of chutzpah. I respect that we all have the right to our choices and that we have the right to respectfully disagree. I would never disparage anyone whose opinion was not my opinion. Of course, not everyone is as respectful.
As far as Deborah and the topic of issue, where I stand and what I choose to say or not is between me and my conscience. Years of being told that I was too white to be black and too black to be white has made me acutely aware of the emotional impact the subject of race can have on an individual’s psyche. When I think it’s necessary and appropriate I make my position known by what I write, what I read, and how I spend my green.
So, with me, I don’t know from one day to the next what I may blog about. I may wax philosophically one day and ponder the dynamics of dryer lint the next. But what I will always do, is try to give you a good story, a great tidbit, a moment of reflection, or a belly-shaking laugh. And, I will always try to give you the best of who I am and all I represent. The rest of it I’ll leave to the experts.