AWP is happening right now. It's an annual convention where academics and representatives of literary journals and presses assemble and cosplay being real writers. Mostly it's a large hall full of frightened, broken, petty people with no talent, nothing to give the world (which is the last thing any of them ever think of), and no character and a love of--which is more like a desperate need for--incest and being enabled. People like Ladette Randolph of Ploughshares.
You can actually go on Facebook and watch the favor trades being done. I'll see someone who gets themselves off by being able to tell me--or so they think, before they end up documented in these pages in all of their bigotry, with stacks of evidence--to pay them money so they can automatically form reject the masterpiece for the ages out of envy, going around and hooking up people just like them, with their awful, valueless, narcissistic, pointless work, in exchange for being hooked up.
It pops up in the feed. I don't have to look. Then you just screenshot it. That's how blatant it is.
Sad, pathetic people. Empty. Cowards.
Do you know what is one of the most telling traits of a coward? It's when someone can't be honest with themselves. Someone who has to always try to lie to themselves.
There are all kinds of ways to be a coward. Not being able to get yourself to do the right thing is one of them. But always looking away from the truth about who you are and why you are really doing what you are doing is right up there. And so is hating someone who deals in and faces truth on account that they can do this and you cannot.
Should one not fit this bill and yet have been in attendance: relax. Read judiciously. If it's not about you, it's not about you. I'm sure you're great. Be a part of the change and the solution. Maybe make wiser plans next year for how to best spend your time and help your writing. It's never too late to go in a better direction. Remember that.
If it is about you, you know it's about you. Watch these pages.
Can you conceive of Keats or Melville or Dickens or someone actually good at writing going to a convention to play reach-around and grab-ass? To in essence go to fantasy camp? Enabling camp?
What do you think they'd say if they were invited? Not that this works with invites. These people love this shit. They can't wait to go. They start talking about it ten months before it happens. It's their one chance every year to play writer out in the open, encouraged by lots of other people doing the exact same thing.
Those real writers wouldn't even answer you. Wouldn't dignify it with a response. Why? Because they had things to write. Things of consequence.
What a concept, right?
Get your ass up, and write something amazing every day. If you can't write something amazing, get your ass up every day and try to get closer to being able to write something amazing.