So I was thinking--dangerous habit, of course--and I decided to make a blog post of it. Here are some random things I believe...
1. Celebrities are like disreputable unicorns.
Everyone wants to see a celebrity, to know one, etc. But most everyone knows they are flawed. And if you didn't know, once you do come across one of these rare creatures, you can certainly see it for yourself by a little exposure.
So to my mind, this is what celebrities are best compared to. It makes me laugh.
However, the same rules still apply. Moving on to my next belief then...
2. If you know any celebrities, you keep it a secret.
Even a disreputable unicorn must not be spoken of or they'll go away. And I, for one, like being able to find them when I need to.
My advice to anyone who is new to the game and knows very little about connections--keep quiet. Use them only when you absolutely have to...and I mean last resort. No one likes to have a favor called in or to be called upon.
Moving on from individuals to the general public…
3. To be a celebrity is to trade privacy for publicity, but this contract does not take away their rights as human beings.
Anyone entering into the entertainment industry signs an invisible contract that trades their privacy for potential publicity. Nothing is fair in life, and you are a fool if you do not understand all of this going in. I have no pity for people being followed around by cameras. If they want out, quit, and it will fizzle away--I've seen proof.
On the other hand, celebrities are human and have rights. No one needs to be in their house, taking pictures of them in the bathroom, etc. I consider these basic rights and common decency. But if you walk around naked outside or don't buy curtains, well, that's your problem.
4. Published writers of fiction should not publicly speak of their political views.
It seems wrong to me to use whatever influence you have outside of your realm. How do you know you're right or wrong? Pushing people towards a certain way to govern themselves, basically, or toward a politician who will run their lives, is an act of great responsibility.
Who are we as novelist to dabble in politics? What trouble might we inadvertently cause?
If you are a political writer, that's something else. You know what you are getting into from the start. But for anyone published in fiction to intentionally push politics seems unwise to me.
I understand writing to be controversial and all of that. What makes me uneasy is the intent and the uncertainty of the result. My advice, for what it's worth, is to be aware of that uncertainty if you are carrying political intent around.
Oh, and if you think you are being subtle with politics in your plot or your statements online--it's NEVER subtle.
5. Determination and personality are key to publication.
Recently, I've seen some books be picked up from submissions that truly deserved it, and some that shocked me--in a "why?" way. They all have two things in common...the authors have determination and personality in abundance. They established a presence online, in their own little nooks. For a few years now, they've been around.
So, I thought about it. I have the determination. My personality still needs work. I'll get there, though.
6. People should be more aware.
The more aware you are of what is going on around you, the greater your chances of survival. It’s quite simple. In life, in publishing, it is a principle that transcends.