“Wait until you write and publish a book, then you’ll know how much blood, sweat, and yada yada yada”. Ah the words that sooner or later every SPA who feels unappreciated and incredibly more talented than you utters. If you are like me that little voice in your head replies, “Oh, really,” cause what that SPA is saying is that nothing is more artistic, more inspired, more difficult than the work of the SPA who is a True Arteeste. His or her literary Art will stand the test of time and if we poor slobs can’t appreciate it now, just wait, future generations will surely weep to be graced with such deathless prose.
First of all, there is art beyond the printed page. Hard to believe but true. There’s a whole wide world full of artists who work damn hard at their craft and to have someone whine about needing respect from people who have no idea how difficult the creative process really is is insulting. It’s insulting anyway. They dismiss the efforts of everyone else as trivial. If you haven’t written and published a book nothing you do is of the slightest importance.
Secondly, it sounds like they are saying if you haven’t chosen to write and publish it’s because you have chosen a job where you can slack off and get by with very little effort. Anyone that produces a good to exemplary result works damn hard. They put in the time, the sweat, and sometimes the tears. But that seems to escape them and if it’s pointed out, well, it doesn’t make them happy.
I think we can all agree that we work to get paid and the harder we work, the better we do whatever our job is the more money and respect for our efforts we hope to receive. Doesn’t always happen but in that case we can choose to move on or not. So when a SPA starts with the yada, yada, yada I have to wonder what they have been doing with their lives.
If you choose to write, whether full or part time, it is your choice. If you want my money and respect you have to give me a polished, professional product. A book with plot holes, bad grammar, worse spelling, punctuation abuse, and any number of other mistakes that seem to run rife through a segment of SPA work is not going to impress me. If you choose to write but you also choose not to finish your work in the manner of professional writers then please do not whine about lack of respect. You choose to write, that means that you also choose to have your work edited professionally, that you check and fix all formatting issues before the book is up for sale, that you have researched and assembled promotional and marketing strategies. Here’s a big surprise for a lot of SPAs, that book doesn’t sell itself. If you choose to not to do these important steps, if you choose to not to give readers the best product possible because of your choices then please do not whine about how hard you worked and the lack of respect.
Because that lack of respect starts with you. I don’t care how long it took you to write the next great novel if I have to wade through your unedited and therefore unfinished writing that you expect me to pay you for then not only will I not be paying you, I will be giving you the very same amount of respect you are giving me-precious little.