Today, it’s time to step out of promo mode and ramble about writerly stuff. See, recently, Evelyn Lafont and I have been going on about the same topic, but with entirely different interpretations. Now that I’ve read her blog summary of our debate, I realize that there’s something left unsaid that’s causing a lot of misunderstanding.
Here, let me quote Evelyn first from her post here: (In case you want to read the rest. It’s a good post, really.)
Zoe E.Whitten and I had a disagreement on Twitter last week over a post I wrote about what readers owe writers. Zoe and I talked, realized we weren’t going to change each others’ minds, and we moved on.
Okay, Evelyn’s article was about this topic, but it’s not what I’ve been talking about when I harass my readers. If Evelyn really thinks that what I’m doing is just begging for reviews for publicity, I’ve been an even bigger failure at communicating than I’d previously suspected. Evelyn’s interpretation of the topic makes it sound like a financial exchange between whore and client. I gave you the big roll with the happy finish, so you pay me and I go away. We will not speak of this again unless you want to buy something else, or unless I want to sell you something else.
Some of you may think of our relationship the same way. You’re the john, and once you’ve paid me for services rendered, I shouldn’t expect anything else from you. Which makes no sense. You asked me to court you long-term, and you asked me to give you full access to myself before you would consider looking at even one of my books. I’m no coy tease either. I’ve given you everything, every part of me. You folks on my blog have actually gotten deeper inside me than any lover ever will. But once I’ve got you to buy a book, you turn into a cold lover, ready to kick me out and move on to the next whore writer without so much as a “It was good for me, yeas.”
Writing has no one right path, and many writers are happy to take money from readers and let the relationship stop there. I’m not one of those writers, but I’m not one to point at others and whine, “You’re doing it wrong!” I just choose to work differently. It’s not that I want to be your best buddy and talk to you every day. I don’t want to try and sell you everything I’ve ever written either. As an artist, all I want from you is whatever reaction I can earn from you.