Literary Outlaw website, which means there must have been something compelling enough in either the text or the image to make someone click to read more. And that is somewhat gratifying.
I see what's coming out of high schools, out of GED programs, and I'll admit, I'm afraid. We've got an entire generation lured by technology, entirely without curiosity, unwilling to learn, bored to death by a lecture on critical thinking, logical fallacies, and propaganda. Often, they collect their Pell Grant money and disappear, never to be seen again after the first four weeks of classes. There are exceptions to this behavior, but they are few. So, how easily will they be persuaded to undo the foundation of our nation, to walk apathetically or with misplaced anger into a new era of martial law before realizing they've made a terrible mistake? And maybe they will never realize it.
I've decided that submitting to journals is like spitting into the wind. My words come back to me, usually with a curt or snarky response. And so the last of my works, submitted at the beginning of the year and up until July, have finally returned, all of them rejected. I am a writer without a traditional audience. And I say traditional because I know, based on the ad campaign, that I gained at least a few readers, even if this contact was fleeting. The fact that my words have met with someone else's eyes is a very good thing.
Last week, I found this fantastic quote by George Orwell. It comes from a preface to Animal Farm, and discusses his difficulties in getting the text published. The preface is apparently rare in reprints of the book, but it is reproduced in its entirety here: "The Freedom of the Press". The quote that I find especially powerful opens paragraph five: "Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban."
I would go so far as to say that even in the independent writing world, which by its early definition championed the bold idea and served as the author's Salon des Refuses, has its own insular system in place, whereby only certain styles, certain ideas, and certain writers are elevated, while others are marginalized, ignored, and devalued. How can a writer combat this? It's pretty thorny problem, and one with no easy resolution, other than to go off on your own to trumpet your message yourself. At least there is that potential. It's quite a comfort.