Tues. Feb. 25, 2014: Rowling Earned Her Success

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

A firestorm is going on over the internet, started by a little chickie who wrote an opinion piece on how JK Rowling should stop writing to “make room” for other authors. I haven’t bothered to remember chickie’s name — she did the piece to gain attention.

Now, she’s got the right to think and write anything she wants, but if she’s going to do so publicly, of course there are consequences. I suspect she belongs to the “no publicity is bad publicity” school. Whatever.

I disagree with her essay on oh, so many levels. If she doesn’t like Rowling’s work, fine. No one likes everyone else’s work. I also find it interesting that she chooses Rowling, who doesn’t even publish one book a year, and not other best-selling authors such as Nora Roberts or James Patterson, who publish multiple books a year.

Rowling worked hard to land her publishing contract. The Potter books touched a chord with many people. She earned the right to try other things. It’s important for a writer to grow and stretch and try new things, not doing the same thing over and over again (although repetition works well for some best-selling authors, and some of their books read like all they did was use “global replace” on settings and character names — but that’s an entirely different issue). CASUAL VACANCY didn’t work for me. I didn’t like any of the characters, and life’s too short to spend with characters or people in real life that I don’t care for. CUCKOO’S CALLING worked for me. I enjoyed it. And I’m glad Rowling tried two very different things, once she finished with Potter. She earned the right.

When you build an audience, you need to keep feeding them with stories. To demand that an author stop writing to make room for other writers is just silly, ludicrous, and inappropriate. Writers write. When they’ve broken through, they have the right to keep getting paid for their work.

If you don’t enjoy a writer’s work, don’t read it, don’t buy it. But to demand that a writer stop writing — that’s a form of oppression and censorship, and something that this author, certainly, has not earned the right to demand. A wanna-be artist doesn’t have the right to demand that an established artist stop creating. NO ONE has the right to demand that someone else stop creating, no matter what their position in the world.

Rowling earned everything she has through hard work. She’s put in the time and the sweat equity, and she deserves every good thing she’s gained. She hasn’t prevented anyone else from breaking through; in fact, I’m sure she’s opened the door for plenty of other authors who might not have gotten a break, as agents and editors ran around, frantically trying to find “the next Harry Potter”. She’s also done a great deal of good through her philanthropic work, never forgetting she once struggled to keep a roof over her head.

Chickie also denigrates Rowling’s readers. Since when does one person have the right to make reading choices for millions of people she’s never met? People have the right to read whatever they choose — that’s why we have events like Banned Books Week, to remind readers they have a choice. Writers explore characters, situations, and issues that matter to them, and then the readers have a choice to read it or not to read it. The government doesn’t have the right to restrict reading (supposedly), religion doesn’t have the right to restrict reading (although it often does), and an individual does not have the right to restrict reading, especially not to peers. Chickie lives in the Town of Entitlement on Planet Delusion.

But Chickie got what she wanted, which was attention. I, for one, disagree with her, although I respect that she has a right to her opinion. And now, I can’t be bothered with her going forward, unless she continues to try to legislate other people’s reading.

***End of comments, back to my real life***

Yesterday was frustrating. Didn’t get enough work done during the day, writing-wise. Pitched a bunch of jobs. Followed up on some other stuff. Ran errands.

Started reading the new book sent for review and it’s wonderful. Looking forward to writing the review.

Feeling run down and discouraged, but have to dig in and keep going. The stresses of the week will only get worse.

I hope to have some joy in the next few days of working on both BALTHAZAAR TREASURE and the ferry girl novel.

Devon

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Published in: on February 25, 2014 at 9:09 am  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. What annoyed me more was her denigrating books she openly admitted she’d never read.

    • I know — if you haven’t read a book, keep your damn mouth shut. Once you’ve read it, you have the right to comment. It’s like those religious fundamentalists, spouting off about books they’ve never read. There’s no accuracy or evidence involved. If you haven’t read the book, you don’t have the right to comment.

  2. I hadn’t head of he bruhaha you’ve described, but am loathe to read it- to give that twit anymore attention. Thank you for your comments concerning the writings,
    As for your frustration- I send thoughts of peace and hugs.


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