Two Cents From A Hag

Angry writer is angry.

I’ve pretty much held back from ranting, as I didn’t want to fuel the fire. When the NEHW post that started this whole thing began, I typed out several nasty replies, but deleted them, because I hate drama and just thought that what was at the time a few snarky comments wasn’t worth it. When I woke up the next day, the whole thing had gone nuclear, and the threads had been deleted. It wasn’t hard to figure out what happened next, since it’s now all over the writing world.

I have to say my piece, since some of the comments coming from Angry Writer were directed at me. At least, the initial comments. Now the thing has spread to include pretty much all women horror writers, goth writers, bald writers, and tattooed writers, whoever doesn’t fit the proper image, I guess. I’m one of the handful of writers in the Maine writing groups that Angry Writer initially bashed. I was part of the library reading that was mentioned in another snarky post. I was one of seven writers at another reading that he also made rude comments about. And yeah, the bad perm comment? That was pretty clearly directed at me. Yep, I’m a curly girl, and I battle frizz. The comment about horror writers that dabble in witchcraft? I have no idea who that one was meant for, but I’m quite obviously pagan so there’s a good chance that one was also pointed at me. Whether it was or wasn’t, I take issue with that as well. And don’t even get me started on the hag comments.

So now we have publishing credits, library readings, another reading, sex, appearance, religion, hairstyle, tattoos, and subculture in the mix of things being thrown out against us.

Judge much?

Many of the comments directed at us were very rude, extremely insulting, and in some cases flat out lies. The above-mentioned comments were nothing short of cruel. But the ones that really pissed me off were the insinuations that we were/are some sort of wannabe, talentless hacks.

Writer in question has one book out. So do I. In fact, most of those he was bashing have been published. Actually, there are some really great writers involved, including a Stoker nominee. Some of us have more creds than others, but whatever.

According to Angry Writer, we aren’t “real writers”. We haven’t “paid our dues”. We’re untalented clueless idiots who support other untalented clueless idiots.

Excuse me?

Sure, I’m further down the ladder than I’d like, but I write for a living, asshole. I spent five years on an obituary desk. I was first published at age seven. (Ok, unicorn story, but still.) No, I don’t have a huge, long glowing list of creds, but I’ve got a few decent ones under my belt and no, I didn’t self pub. I’ve sold more than was actually released, and I’ve walked away from bad contracts. Whatever. I’m getting my work out there. I found out the other day that one of my poems was discussed in a college class (see last post). I don’t need someone else’s judgment on whether or not I’m a “real writer” or if I’ve paid enough dues.

This isn’t about me. This is about someone just grasping at straws and hurling insults to take shots at others. Trying to bring people down.

Um, shouldn’t we be doing the opposite? Supporting one another? Sure, there’s plenty of beginning/self-pubbed/bad writers in the world, and yeah, there are some issues there. Everyone has their opinions on the situation. Nothing new there.

To clarify, there are two Maine writers groups involved. One is the Tuesday Mayhem Society, which is a handful of serious writers who, between us, have multiple credits and decades of experience. Only one member is unpublished, and she’s damn good. I’m extremely proud of TMS, and am honored to be part of it. I heart my writers group.

The second group is The Horror Writers of Maine. This is a less formal group that was open to all Maine writers of all levels. It’s not big, or super active, or anything formal. There’s a website, and a Facebook group. The man who runs the group has been extremely kind and supportive of TMS and of Maine writers in general. HWM is just a network of people in Maine who want to meet other writers, so we could meet and get to know one another. This was what set off Angry Writer, and led to all of the rude comments about self-pubbers and wannabes and whatnot. How horrible. We were all somehow wrong for wanting to meet other local writers. How dare we try to connect with people with similar interests? How dare we try to find the handful of other horror writers in Maine and support one another? How dare we (gasp) connect on Facebook?

Who the hell made you king?

One thing that has gotten lost is that this is actually the second round of drama with Angry Writer that us Mainers have dealt with. In Round One, Horror Writers of Maine was bashed, and that whole thing got pretty ugly too. Angry Writer did not approve of the group. Didn’t think it was professional enough. Or exclusive enough. He posted that no one had any creds, that we had all either self-pubbed or not pubbed at all. The problem with that is, it just wasn’t true. In my case, there is a bit of benefit-of-the-doubt here, because at the time the website with member bios was incomplete. I was listed under my real name, but write under a pen name. So maybe he did a search by my real name, which would of course turn up absolutely nothing. Whatever. He knew me, though, at least a little. The guy is from my hometown. We’d had a few decent chats before all the ugliness started. Maybe he didn’t remember me, didn’t know me that well. Don’t know. Don’t care. But there were several other writers lumped into this insult, incorrectly.

I’m angry, but I’m more disappointed. The amount of hostility has grown ridiculous.

I really don’t give a crap what Angry Writer or anyone else thinks of me. So why am I writing about this? Because I’m a writer, and that’s what we do. That’s how we deal with things.

Do I care about his approval? Nope. Don’t think I needed it for anything. But it does go straight to the point of one thing writers deal with all the time. The human condition. The human mind. The fact that the world is full of assholes, and people who love to judge and bash and hate on others. People who love to point fingers. People who love to hate.

You’re no better than anyone else, dude. Get over yourself.

I don’t feel sorry for the guy, who is now getting completely shredded. If you put hate out into the world, you get hate back. Had things played out differently, he would have had a great support system here. Instead he decided to announce our “unworthiness” to the world, and only ended up announcing his own vitrol.

One thing you hear about the writing world is that you need a thick skin. Holy fuck, whoever said that was not kidding.

2 thoughts on “Two Cents From A Hag

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