Yesterday, I received a sweet little e-missive from a fellow author. In it, she lovingly but firmly told me about the concept of The Pedestal of Author. Backstory: I've gotten mostly good reviews on Wind Follower. When I have gotten bad reviews, I let it slide. Everyone has an opinion. When I get a really, really, really bad review....where the reviewer obviously hasn't written the book....well, I actually try to defend myself. Which is a no-no in writing circles, I'm told.
Anyway, the concept of The Pedestal of Author now has me thinking. What do I as an author think an author should be? What do I as an author expect my readers to think of me? What do I as a reader expect an author to be?
In some cultures certain kinds of vocation and work are considered important or honorable or "great." Nice job if you can get it. For instance, teachers are generally honored in many cultures. Doctors and Actors are honored in the United States.
In the black community, there is always so much pride and joy in great achievers. When I used to work in the high school I thought this pride in greatness was a bit dangerous. Kind of like an ethnic Cinderella Complex. Poor kids didn't want to be regular folks with normal jobs. They wanted to be famous rappers, great singers, sportscasters. It was as if their lives had been so bad that they only way they could overcome it would be to be in-your-face-famous with tons of bling, ho's, boy-toys, etc. I totally understand that. (And yeah, I'm actually cool with all those women wanting to hook up with Flavor Flav or Bret on VH1. You gotta do what you gotta do to get by. And hey, nice job if you can get it. But most people aren't gonna be famous. Fame is so important in our society. The nature of fame is that some folks simply are....and some folks aren't.
But I'm an author. Plodding work, a work of endurance, a work that revolves around ideas. I'm not particularly famous, though. Although you'd think from the way some folks in the hood behave, I'm the hottest thing since Vanilla Chai.
Hey, I don’t mind representing. What really makes my day at signings, etc is the love and appreciation my people have for me. They’re glad that I – a Black Woman– succeeded. If they are little old ladies, they ask where they can buy my book. When I tell them “from any bookstore!” they just smile and rejoice with me. Yes, I'm in a bookstore! When I say it's not self-published, it's from a traditional publisher, they really smile. When I say the book has so many religious stuff in it and so many racial stuff in it, but a secular publisher published it, they shout, "Praise the Lord! HE is able!" As a culture we have seen so many failures and struggles, that many of us still have a genuine joy and appreciation for those in our culture who have succeeded. Poor folks in the hood -- even the white ones-- love the idea that I'm an author.
Yeah, I’ll admit it. I get all teary-eyed when some Public Service Announcement pops up which states, “A black man created this…” “A black scientist discovered that…” And, yeah, I’m glad when I enter a room of little old Black ladies and they get teary-eyed over me.
Should we try to keep the mystique of Author Greatness? Do I OWE it to my people to behave like a real author, someone who symbolizes wisdom, persevereance, polish....and uh, maturity? If I DO try, how long can I keep up with it? Will I be able to be that other person long enough until it becomes second nature? When it become second-nature, will I become a pill, a know-it-all, or an object of pride and a help to all who know me?
Lord, help my people to continue to do great things. I'm trusting you to help me write this new WIP. Amen.
- ► 2015 (32)
- ► 2014 (63)
- ► 2013 (80)
- ► 2012 (119)
- ► 2011 (198)
- ► 2010 (156)
- ► 2009 (499)
- WORLD CHRISTIAN GATHERING OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE UPD...
- Native American Christian music CD's
- Wow, my first really bad review!
- Pushing Envelopes
- Why does God have to swear?
- The Pedestal of Author
- allies, kinda
- From the rising of the sun (the son)
- Fave film: Rope
- Jesus' question: faith
- Striving and Resting
- Jesus' Failures
- Kneejerk Disdain
- Stepping up my game
- Strange bliss, flaky joy
- THE STORY OF THE GOSPEL
- He did me much evil
- You, God, see me
- ▼ March (20)
- ► 2007 (102)
Here is a Bible study I wrote once. Instead of simply writing a long article, I simply listed some of the many questions God asks in the Bi...
William Lau of the Elijah Challenge does a rally great job talking about the priestly authority, the kingdom authority, and the prophetic au...
Is there a right way to read it? Should the books be read in any particular order? Most Churches have printed guides which help parishioner...
Once Jesus was praying in a certain place. After he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John ta...
This prayer was written by Rich Keltner: Right now, In the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the power of His Blood, I ask the blood o...
I once had a white friend in my writer’s critique group ask me, “Why do you always write about mixed couples? That’s a very bad habit of you...
Am getting back into The Constant Tower. WOW!!! It's so good to be back into a fantastical world. The nobility, the beauty, the angst --...
Hi all: I'm up today for the spec-fic blog hop: Thanks to Jessica Rydill , author of Malarat and Children of the Shaman for ...
Types of Bible Studies: Bible studies may be done singly or as a series. 1. A Bible Study Series can be thematic. Thematic articles can...
Yesterday, early-early, I opened my computer: you were there. A glimpse, merely But later, all my thoughts were of you. II Men should...