Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why I Write

by C. Michelle Jefferies

I had an awesome time, over the weekend, at a book festival. The people coming to the festival were awesome. I did really well in my class, I didn't speak too fast and have tons of time left over with nothing to say. In fact I still had one point in my presentation left when my alarm went off. I had a blast with my roommates and the people I drove down with and learned so much from them and just had a great time. I sold some books and got to meet alot of people.

The two keynote speakers were wonderful and left me rejuvenated and ready to dive into writing again and to be all fired up about my career choice.

One of the awesome things was a "favorite book character costume contest" for the grade schoolers in the area. The winners were able to choose one book from an author at the festival. the fifth grade boy who dressed like Sherlock Holmes chose my book Emergence. At first I was afraid that it was a little too adult for him but he came back to my table the second day and told me how much he liked my book. I was thrilled.

There were a few drawbacks to the festival, the weather was rainy and overcast and it seemed to influence the ammounts of people that came to the festival. Who can change the weather though? Not me.

The second one has bothered me since it happened. This is the reason for this post. There were two speakers that addressed the general audience that shouldn't have given the message they did or it should have been in a workshop not a general address. The first speaker must have published twenty years ago. The information was so antiquated that I worried for those new authors that took the information as real and up to date.

The second speaker was not only so loud it hurt your ears, but the message was full of venom and spite toward the publishing industry as a whole whether you published traditionally or independantly. It was also a sales pitch for their small pub business. Bad form in my opinion. They labeled the traditional and indie published as being stupid. That they wern't getting as much money as possible from the manufacture of their books. That the only way to publish was through them. That they could save you money on printing so you have more in your pocket. I was unimpressed with their covers and would never choose them as a pub for that reason alone. Not even considering their attitude. While some people might like this position and method, I do not.

You see this person has either forgotten something or not realized something.

Not everyone who writes, is in it for the money.

I'm not. I knew when I started out that I wasn't going to earn alot. That's okay. I wanted to delve into worlds that make me  happy. I want to hold a book that I wrote in my  hands. I want to teach others about the joy of writing. I want to hang out my my tribe of writers and enjoy people who get me. None of the authors that I was with over the weekend are in it for the money. We're in it to tell stories, to change lives, and to inspire people. Especially the youth of our world. We write to get kids excited to read. To allow adults to excape the drudgery of life for a few hours. To cheer to excite or to make a reader think or feel deeply.

There are so many reasons to write for me, but making lots of money isn't one of them.

The path to wisdon is not always straight.

1 comment:

James Duckett said...

It was great meeting you in person. I'm glad you made it down!