Zephyr 98 Archive

Life does not get in the way

Posted on: May 15, 2009

Neil Gaimain on why writers should be respectful to readers but not feel like they work for them, or, as he says in the new colloquial vocabulary:

“[Your favorite living writer] is not your bitch.”


This is in response to a correspondent politely wondering about writers’ priorities (really thinly disguised whining). He turns it into a realistic and sometimes lyrical look at deadlines and priorities (that includes a couple of great lists). Unpublished writers shouldn’t look to it for excuses, but they will recognize that they face the same impediments to finishing even their first major piece as full time authors who’ve decided to make a living at it.


2 Responses to "Life does not get in the way"

Over at Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee has been ending his rants by saying something along the lines of “Fans are whining little sh*ts who will never appreciate your work, so the sooner you ignore them, the better off you will be. Incidentally, why not buy a t-shirt from our store.”

Thanks, hopefully it didn’t read like writers should be self-absorbed shites who feel their droppings are like diamonds to be received by readers without expectation or gratitude–we are producing a product, after all. I updated the intro to include “be respectful to readers, but…”

I liked Gaiman’s post more for what he has to say about priorities. I’d look forward to the day when I have the problem of pesky fans.

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