Those of you who’ve been around the blogosphere long enough know that I totally lost my shit over something similar to what I’m about to blog about. And I promised I never would again. And I haven’t.
I guess there are certain things I can’t sit down and let pass by. And I’m seeing people saying, what a great article, and thinking, wtf – am I reading something completely different because I see nothing great about it.
I get that the author tried to layer it like, here were the misconceptions, here’s what happened and now I realize that all writers are awesome. But it didn’t work for me at all.
You know, why? Because the article starts out, “I’m pretty sure I used to sit at the smart table.”
Where do you sit now? Were you voted out because you write romance? I honestly don’t see that clarified anywhere in the article. And why did she used to sit there – because she has degrees? Because she read literary novels?
At the end, she realizes that she doesn’t have to worry about the fact that she writes fun novels because some romance writers went to college, and that in general, writers are writers no matter the genre! Awesome! Another way to justify writing romance! Does this mean there IS no smart table? How could you ever have sat at a table that didn’t exist?
So that’s how it came off to me. And it’s like, you’re a goddamned WRITER for Christsakes. Words are your living. If it came off that way, I’m betting that’s how you intended it to come off. So if you didn’t realize that saying things like, “I’m pretty sure I used to sit at the smart table,” implies that, now that you’re writing “fun” books (I guess that’s a new euphemism for Romance – let’s all look in the FUN section) you’re no longer at the smart table, then why should I, would I, buy your books? I want to read smart books by smart women, no matter the seating chart.
And let me clarify – romance novels can be ‘fun’ and they all have happy ever afters. But love is just about one of the most difficult and rewarding things in the world, both in real life and on paper. There’s nothing easy about it.
It’s one thing to admit you used to be a literary snob and now realize that you were missing out on the breadth and depth of a genre that’s been around for as long as a lot of those dead white males I studied in school. But saying things like, “I now know they’re (romance novels) great books in their own way,” isn’t helping me understand your situation. What does that mean, in their own way? Are all books great books in their own way or is romance a special snowflake?
That’s the problem with being embarrassed about what you do for a living – it always comes through, no matter how hard you try to hide it. This whole things reads like an apology of, I’m smart, but I write romance despite that!
Oh, but wait, I forgot, you don’t sit at the smart table anymore…