Warning: If you are purely a reader, you might want to skip this post because it’ll be like watching your parents fight.
I’ve been reading a lot about Us Versus Them lately in the publishing world. Reality television has apparently gotten the better even of us book people. The “nuh-uh she dint?! yuh-huh she di!!” has crept into all my loops as constituents in the various camps light their torches. Writers are good with words, and good writers are great with conflict, so you can imagine how much fun we are when we aren’t on deadline and need to keep our skills sharp (emphasis on sharp).
I read an interesting article the other day about how prejudice might be advantageous on an evolutionary basis. Staying with your kind kept you from being exposed to pathogens against which you had no defenses. On the flip side, scientists have found that women seem unconsciously attracted to mates with different genetics which — in theory — could give the offspring advantages of biological diversity.
With that sort of push-pull of wariness and attraction, I think the Us Versus Them battles are inevitable to some extent… At least until we remember that we have a frontal cortex and needn’t succumb to the amusing train wrecks sent up from our amygdalas.
So srsly? Give UVT a rest. It seems to me the only people churning the UVT sludge are people who aren’t happy with where they are. Which isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. Discontent makes you try harder. But you gotta aim that discontent AT YOUR FREAKIN’ GOAL, not at other people.
If you are a NYT bestseller, you go, girl! If you self pubbed a gazillion copies of a hundred titles, woo-hoo! If you are still churning out the desperate words of your very first manuscript, rock on! And if you are somewhere in the middle of those extremes, you most definitely should stay away from UVT since you very recently were Us/Them and still have a ways to go to be Them/Us.
Use you words for good, and happy writing.