I'm not sure how this term can ever be considered arrogant, but there it is. It is apparently arrogant to admit that what I do may not work for other writers, and what they do will not always work for me. It's arrogant to admit that everyone has to find their own path when they learn to write, and while some things I do may help others, not everything I offer will. We are not all the same writers working on the same stories, with the same free time to work, and the same abilities and needs. I've spent most of the last eight years working with new writers, and I think I'm pretty well qualified at this point to say that there is no single answer. Is it arrogance for me to admit that I have some qualifications in making that statement? No more so than saying that I've lived the last eight years with cats, and they're not all the same either. It's a fact and nothing more.
Personally, I think it's arrogant to accuse other writers of obviously not trying to improve if they don't improve in your own certain way. (Which is what happened at FM.)
Or maybe it's arrogance to believe that if a number of people don't happen to agree with you, that they are all the ones obviously in the wrong -- even when they repeatedly post that what you call yourself doesn't matter, but applying a term like wannabe to others can be taken as negative, and here's why. Ah, but some people are unwilling to admit that they could learn something from others, that they might not be totally correct, and that -- yes, having used the term and gotten a negative response from a few people -- that really does seem to be the case.
I really liked Linda's line: 'The dictionary is a record of what words meant when the dictionary was written.' I love words and looking up both what they mean and what they meant in the past. The Urban Dictionary -- filled as it is with definitions from people using the words right now -- is a wonderful resource for both contemporary writers and science fiction writers.
If someone says 'if you aren't making sales you obviously need to change the way you work,' is it arrogant to point out that you (and several of the people he was addressing) have had many sales, and don't work in the way that he does, so it's obvious this is not the path for everyone. And for that matter, asking if he has made any sales, since that was the point he brought up. (I had not read his blog at that point and didn't realize he had only recently adopted this new form of writing. I do expect him to be published. He writes very clean sentences, is knowledgeable in grammar and punctuation -- and that puts him a head up over a lot of other people. I cannot say if he actually knows how to tell a good story, though.)
Every writer is different. I guess that's pretty arrogant to admit that none of us has all the answers -- and probably even more arrogant to be willing to help others where you can with what knowledge we have gathered.
Here's some real arrogance for you -- this is a note from an acquisitions editor whom I had worked with before at a different small press/ebook publisher. She now has one of my novels and is reviewing it for another company:
[i]BTW, unless you've lost your touch since last I read something of yours, this reading is rather a formality--I won't keep you waiting long.[/i]
I told her that meant she would absolutely hate the book by the time she was done, but I appreciated the comment.
Yes, I am going to talk about my publications now and then. In fact, I don't do it often enough. Because I'm mostly working in electronic and small press, that means I should be out pushing my work more. What I need is a marketing plan, and I thought this year was going to be the one I got my act together -- but FM, DTF, and Vision have taken every free non-writing moment I have.
My new chapbook has the quote from C.J. Cherryh on it again -- she said to use it on this one too since it was so appropriate for the work. Honor Bound was the first one and Star Bound is the second. They're available from Yard Dog Press, a wonderful micro-press company with a good record for sales and awards.
I will have a short story out in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine soon, too. I am really looking forward to that one!
I have three more novels in the Dark Staff series to go. I think the next one will either be late this year or early next year. I have also sold the second Singer and St. Jude novel to DDP.
I have only five things out at the moment, but I've made seven sales so far this year. I have two novels almost ready to go out (Muse and Glory for those keeping track).
I have written 80 class/posts for the two year novel course at FM. I have the last 22 listed out and some partially outlined.
I have three more novels outlined and I've started the research on another one -- a very intricate piece that I'm really looking forward to writing, though it may not be until next year.
So far this year I've written eighteen articles, ten short stories, two full novels and three half ones (yes, number of novels is down, and yes I need to get them done!). I've edited two full novels and part of another one.
I write every single day and I have for DECADES.
I have two other rules that I live by -- finish everything you start, and finish it with a year of starting it.
I do not expect the rest of you to adopt any of those rules. I know that you don't work the way I do, and what I find helpful and a good prod to keep working isn't what you will find works for you.
Every writer is different. Don't anyone ever make you believe otherwise.
Edited -- It is beyond arrogance to ignore the fact that nearly everyone who has posted here or at FM has said that it doesn't matter what a person calls himself, but for many people the term wannabe is negative and will get a bad result. You cannot change the fact that these people have that reaction. It's a statement of fact. No one fears the word wannabe; they don't like it. There's a big, difference. I would expect someone who claims to be a writer to be able to read and see that difference.
Oh hold it -- You aren't a writer. You're a wannabe writer: someone who wants to be a writer, so that means you can't be one now. I guess that's the problem. I don't know what you're doing with all those words, but it's obviously not writing after all. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I could be wrong.
I had just thought you were an unpublished writer, but if you insist on being a wannabe, I guess that's what you are.
You can call yourself an armadillo road kill writer for all the rest of us care, but if you call others the same you best be prepared for the reactions.