Snagged from Business Today

I’m not talking about the awards we spread around on this here blog-o-sphere. Those are inclusive and used to make us all feel good about our blogging efforts. It spurs us on and gets us all blog-happy. It’s like getting that little peppermint shot in your holiday coffee – isn’t that special!

No, I’m talking about Awards with a big ‘A’. You know, like the Hugo, or the Gemmell,  or the Nebula, or, maybe even, the Clarke.

Yes, I’m talking about last week’s debacle that Christopher Priest started with his demand that the Clarke award not be given out this year because there really isn’t any novel published in Britian that deserves it.


I know what you are thinking. What does that all have to do with me? Or us?

Not much, but it did get me thinking. Hard not to when just about every author I follow has been talking about it. There’s Jim Hine‘s funny piece, John Scalzi‘s own balanced perspective, and then there’s Charles Strossquick capitalization on the event. And, I’m sure you have read countless other perspectives from famous and not-so-famous authors.

But here’s what I learned: it’s okay to put my drivel out there.

Folks will hate it. Some will call it childish or stupid or even, egad, harmful. But whatever the case may be, it is all just their opinion. Folks may shout at the clouds, but that’s all it is – shouting. Yes, it’s rude and may hurt your feelings (I know it will hurt mine), but as a new writer, we got to get over that fear.

I don’t plan on winning any awards. Though I do wish to improve enough so that I might consider it someday, I know I’m not in that league now. However, watching the internet feathers getting ruffled this past week has made me realize that even the big guys are in the same boat as we are.

Folks will not like my stuff and will probably tell me that. At least, I hope they tell me, I want some sort of feedback. Silence is the worst form of rejection…but I digress.

Here’s the thing, the business of writing is subjective. A great author, maybe someone you admire, may mouth off and say your crap isn’t worthy. And that’s okay. If you entertain yourself, more power to you – keep writing. With time and improvement, we will all find an audience that likes our stuff. It will happen. But only if we keep writing.

Until later, write AND PUBLISH with no fear.

13 thoughts on “Awards

  1. I absolutely agree with you 100%, thanks for the post/pep-talk. I’d love for my work to be criticized one day, since it would require that it be read and worthwhile! At the end of the day, anyone who wants to write can. It is only our internal critic that can really shut us down (in which case, why not write a critique on our own work?). Happy writing, and thanks again!

    1. Glad someone found it useful. I thought the whole deal was just silly and then I started worrying about what folks would say about my own work. Always something to worry about, eh?

      Happy writing to you too. 🙂

  2. Yeah, I saw this. I don’t get what his problem is. Personally, I think British sci fi is at its strongest for decades. The country cannot get enough of China Mieville right now and he is expected to win the award for the fourth time. I’ve only read a handful of his short stories (but I have two novels stacked up in my pile) and what I have read so far is very good.

    A touchy of snobbery on his part.

    1. Pure snobbery. But, it is his opinion and he is entitled to it. It just really drove home for me that everything is subjective. Even if I wrote the best novel I could ever write, someone like Priest will come along and tear it apart. Just can’t worry about it, I guess.

      1. I doubt that Mieville is worrying about it right now!

        Opinions on creative works are always subjective. There are books and films that we are all supposed to love that make me think “wtf?” and books and films that are universally panned that often has a strong following.

        Take the Resident Evil films for example. I thought the first and third were great and that the second and fourth films were awful. Yet my brother is of the opposite opinion.

  3. Conversations over the merits of awards are like conversations over the best blended Scotch whiskey. Taste is personal. Personal things cannot be voted on. Imagine an award for the best religion of the year or the best politician of the year or the best tax collector of the year.

    1. Ah – consciously or not, there are “awards” in real life too. America is proclaimed a Christian nation, we vote in a popular choice for president, and…well it breaks down with the tax collector, but you get my point.

      But you’re right. Awards are entirely subjective. As we all are.

  4. Ugh. I just got a rejection, and this hits the heart. They offered to look at it again with MAJOR changes that I didn’t think made sense. I asked a beta, and she didn’t agree either. Tough call.

    As far as awards… even if he didn’t think there was anything good out there, then the best fo the bad is fine. Everything is subjective

    1. Hey Jennifer, Thanks for coming by. Sorry about the rejection. I’ve never had anyone ask me to change something. I fear if they did, I would just do it in hopes of getting something (anything) published. That is a tough call.

      In regards to Priest, well, that was what he was kind of arguing about. That the best of the bad was not good enough. But the thing is that what got short-listed are some pretty darn good novels. (shrugs) Like you said – subjective. An endless circle, I suppose.

  5. excellent (reminder) post mi amigo, here i sit with more than my share of “stuff” awaiting the future date when i stare fear in the face and spit in it’s eye! rejection i welcome your introduction into my life (yeah, right) i know this fact is true: i love what i write and i write about what i love! awards??? who needs them, as you stated and most – if not all – of us agree: they are subjective! and with that i’ll leave you and wallow in my pile of “thanks for the submission, but not what we seek” letters.

    1. That’s what makes blogs and the internet (and self-publishing venues for that matter) so empowering. We can get our stuff out there, even though it is not what “sells”. Keep writing and taking those awesome pictures!

  6. Watch out, though. I wrote a blog post related to this whole kerfluffle and Damien Friggin’ Walters showed up to comment about 3 minutes after it went live. Now I’m afraid Christopher Priest is going to come yell at me.

Get it out of your system

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s