goals / writing

Writing Wednesday: What About Empathy?

Goals, goals, goals… Again, three blog postings last week. My ePublishing remains on track with the release of Just Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.  Next release data is October 20th.

I’m enjoying Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! – it has me laughing out loud, and it will be tempting to listen to a few more of his books, but I should probably try someone else next to have a variety of voices and styles.

I’m crediting myself with 1,579 words on Swordsmaster (now over 61,000 words); this is again short of my 3,000-word quota. Because I always seem to need to create some sort of structured process (the method to my madness), I have defined nine different passes through the drafts, each with unique purposes, and so far I’m done with three of them. This implies that I’m one third of the way through completing the novel, but I know that some of the defined passes will wind up being subdivided into additional ones, but at least the individual passes cut the intimidation of working the entire novel into smaller, more manageable bites. It also makes it easier (to at least try) to measure progress on Swordsmaster.

Both “Skitzo the Magnificent” and “Date Night” threatened to make me break from Swordsmaster and work on them instead; I was able to force myself to stay on task, but I suspect at least one of those two stories will twist my arm into writing them this weekend.


I’ve left my rotations-to-market-in-ten-days goal for last because that submission schedule is causing me some headaches. As I’ve mentioned before, some of the markets that I’ve submitted to over the years have closed up shop, so I’ve had to search for more go-to markets to replace them. Then there are many markets that ask you not to submit stories any closer together than a week, or 2 weeks, or TWELVE weeks.

Of course, this submissions log-jam might be alleviated if I would write something compelling enough that they just HAD to buy it. Yes, when it comes down to it, I’m ultimately responsible for whether my work sells, as long as I’m given equal opportunity.

And there’s my beef for today. Did you know that being a straight white guy puts me at a disadvantage when trying to sell my fiction? Currently there are a few markets that my work could qualify for, except that right now they aren’t open for submissions – EXCEPT for women. Or some other group that they feel is oppressed or disadvantaged. AND they caution against pretending that you are in one of these categories to get yourself favorable treatment.

What does this have to do with the quality of fiction? You would think that your goal as a fiction magazine would be to publish excellent fiction – not instituting a quota system. And you shouldn’t write about a group you aren’t a member of. Whatever happened to the notion that we WRITE fiction to better understand others? To EMPATHIZE with those who aren’t like ourselves. Aren’t we capable of identifying with someone who doesn’t look exactly like we do? Who is qualified to write about Alpha Centaurians?

There are also multiple markets that stress in their submissions guidelines (meaning this is their objective during EVERY submission period, not just their special editions) that they are particularly interested in publishing authors in “underrepresented groups.” I’m beginning to think that I really AM in an “underrepresented group”; exactly who is it that’s doing the oppressing here?

Just saying…


Collection9CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent collection Just Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get Out of My Mind – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):  https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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