WE, the writers, get up every morning to face the daily demons of self-doubt, and even when we think we are doing well, we are probably waiting for the hammer to fall on our notions of wordy pursuits. We all have it, that internal voice. We are not good enough.
But there’s also the external voices to torment us, and they are growing louder, it seems to me. The machine of US and THEM and the constant streaming of negativity. We are not as good as yer man, or yer woman. Not literary enough. Too literary. Too working class. Not working class. Not working class enough. Too overeducated. Too undereducated. Not cutting edge. Too political. Not politically correct.
Too young. Too old. Too genre-centred. Too female-centred. Too male-centred. Not a man. Not a woman. Not the right skin colour. Not the right ethnicity. Not hanging out with the right crowd; the cool writers, the media influencers, the critics, the bloggers, the reviewers, the editors, the festival organisers, the bookshop owners, the publishers, the award givers. Too trad. Not trad. Too independent. Too hybrid. Not marketable. Not selling enough. Not on the ‘hot new talent’ radar.
Not something. Too something; insert here any word you can stick a pin in the dictionary to divide us, pitch us against one another, make us feel superior, inferior or invisible!
All I’m saying is fuck that shit. We are readers too. I don’t care if you publish your work on a roll of kitchen paper or on a leather-bound, gilded limited edition. If I like your writing, I’ll read it, and I will spread the word. Let’s just support each other to shut down that noise. (Literally)
Caroline E. Farrell is a writer and filmmaker. Her novel, LADY BETH was awarded BEST NOVEL by the Carousel Aware Prize in 2017. She has also written and directed the short film, FRAMED (2018) currently on the festival circuit, and has written and co-produced the award-winning IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013). She is currently working on her latest novel.