In a recent Huffington Post blog, Lev Raphael describes "a contemporary writer whose first novel was reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. It was subsequently on the NYT best seller list, and sold 500,000 copies. That's the kind of exposure, notoriety, and sales record most writers would kill for...This author... turned out to be very unhappy. Why? He hadn't gotten a Pulitzer nomination, and couldn't let go of the disappointment and frustration."
From "Nobody will publish me" to "I can't get nominated for a Pulitzer," writers are...Whiny?
|"Illegible." Now that's an unkind cut.|
Raphael cites Roxane Gay's trenchant observations on Salon that male authors in fact receive more attention than female authors. (She points the finger at him, BTW.) Gay also states, "The (gender) disparit(ies)...are significant and worth examining, but we’re talking about such rarified air (when it comes to highly successful authors) that it’s difficult to make broad conclusions." In other words, most of us barely make the auditions, let alone being sent to Hollywood for the real competition.
I'm Not Asking for Much...Just a Billboard on Times Square
As Gay says, "All we (writers) want is everything." No gender distinction there.
Perhaps it's a blessing to be as little known as I am. In order to KEEP GOING and get the work done, I can't afford to indulge in jealousy & toxic mental comparisons--and I need to deeply treasure every gift of affirmation a reader gives me. (Thank you! You know who you are!)
What is Success?
So how do I see myself in the illustrious glow of our unnamed friend in the first paragraph who has not only attained critical acclaim, but untold riches (and who probably lives in a really cool apartment with a sub-zero fridge from which emerge the artisan cheeses he serves at the fabulous parties he throws for other fabulous authors I wouldn't dare 'friend' on Facebook)? After all, I'm writing and publishing; and some people actually really like my stuff.
And how do you see yourself in the light of other people's success (or lack thereof)?