26 Feb The Pony Manifesto
After the Revolution, every writer will have a pony. And cake. Cake will be served.
Recently author Lynn Shepherd asked JK Rowling to stop writing because she “sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere.”
I want to go further.
Mid-listers, short story writers, poets and Amazon-only published writers: rise in arms! Join me as we topple Rowling. But we shall not stop at Rowling. We shall also pummel Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. Dan Brown will be incarcerated for crimes against humanity. We’ll also get Margaret Atwood, because damn her Canadian-ass which keeps winning all the Canadian awards and meanwhile here I am like a chump.
After the Revolution, every writer will get a pony. And cake. And accolades. We shall all build beautiful marble mansions with our royalties instead of waiting for that fucking royalty check to arrive. It’s in the mail. Yeah. SURE THING. Tell me another one.
I once got a $4.00 royalty check but now there will be pony and cake. Eat!
Please do not eat the pony.
In the glorious post-Revolution, every writer will be valued and when you fill all those forms for the Canada Arts Grant, you’ll actually get the award rather than a sad little note that says NO and really means HAHA, DID YOU REALLY THINK YOU HAD A CHANCE.
Poetry will sell! Like, more than 3 copies to your grandma.
Writers will have caviar or veggie caviar if they feel inclined to this. No more paid day loans for me! I have used pay day loans, yes. On the other hand I do like MacDonals $1 burgers.
Ah, Ponyland! Where every writer has a pony.
Alas, you are nothing but a dream. For it is clear that even if Rowling and King and Gaiman and all the big writers disappeared, that doesn’t mean my short-story collection would suddenly sell like hot cakes. Success would not be assured.
I get the notion of envy and rage. Envy is in fact my favorite sin. I delight in it. Once at a party I told some writers that I hated all other writers. I do. I hate you all, smug fucks. When you win your awards or get the big checks or go to the parties where the cheese and wine are free, and meanwhile here I am starring at my sales rank on Amazon.
I think I sold 1 damn copy last week.
But I try to channel that envy and rage into constructive purposes. Writing, mostly. Though sometimes I engage in other pursuits. Like attempting to cook a cake that does not deflate.
Rage and envy are good. I know no better fuel than those two.
I wish more people would take notice of certain titles. Why isn’t Hollywood throwing a bathtub full of money at Nick Mamatas to adapt his gritty Love is the Law? Why can yeti porn outsell Tobler’s historical fantasies? Was I the only person who read Husk?
And yet…the solution, the answer, is not for Rowling to disappear.
In the post-Revolutionary Ponyland, every writer will have a pony. In the meantime, I suggest you share and recommend the writers you love. Especially the ones who are not the big names.
If you are a writer, keep writing.
That’s the only real answer.
Have some cake.