I really admire Kelly's passionate retort to this jab about easy success and I'm inclined to agree with her rationale. Though I doubt the publication meant any purposeful harm, as a fellow writer, I find it bothersome that people automatically think written success can be obtained solely by using shortcuts or sheer luck. And yes, while there may be the occassional fan fic writer that hits the jackpot, most authors work very hard for a long time before they ever make it big (if they do at all). It's not easy facing rejection after rejection when doing what you love, so I understand why Oxford takes offense. This isn't just a job for her, this is a way of life and to have someone degrade that with a silly assumption is really shitty.
The problem lies in ignorance. It's the fact that people who aren't writers, they don't fully understand just how much work and effort goes into writing and publishing something--- whether it be a book, screenplay, a thesis paper--- all of these things require a great amount of dedication and effort and care. It takes time, years in many cases, to see the finished fruits of your labour. Immediate success isn't the norm. And not only do you have to worry about finishing the project and getting it published, but often, you're expected to market that work too! So now you're not just an author, you're an agent, editor and a promoter. Look, I don't presume to understand the amount of time and effort that goes into engineering a building because I am not an architect. But I do know this --- shortcuts are never the answer. Would you want to be in a building where the architect used shortcuts in order to get it done? Didn't think so. It's not a quality product! So to think that writing is any different just because it's a creative pursuit is just absurd.
As fellow bloggers and my peers, I think most of you can relate to the notion that we write because we love it, because we have a desire to share our thoughts and literary efforts with the world. There are a lot of writers out there and most people can tell which ones take pride in their work and which don't. Those who respect the craft aren't going to waste their time by not learning it or by rushing. There's a huuuuge difference between writing and writing well. Just like experts in any other field, authors have to be knowledgable about their craft. They have to hone their skills and practice, practice, practice otherwise they'll never truly succeed. Passion isn't always enough. And this is the sheer essense of Oxford's fiery reply.
Writing is a field whose worth should not be judged merely on the rapidness of its success. For many, it may be a job but it should never be a chore. Kelly's successful because she's passionate, driven and talented. Her success wasn't derived from who she knew or by what shortcuts she took and it makes this blogger sad to think that others don't see it that way. I have mad respect for her wit and refreshing honesy. Kelly gets it and she's earned it.
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I am in no way affiliated with Kelly Oxford nor have I been compensated to endorse her. Pretty much, I wrote this post because I think she makes a valid point and, plainly, she rocks!
So to the readers --- What do you think? Was Kelly right to be offended? Or do you agree that there are a lot of people who make a living by taking shortcuts and getting lucky? If you're a writer, do you share the same point of view? What are some other stereotypes about writers that frustrate you?