Words’ Lives Matter, Even to Self Publishers
I’m going to try not to rant, but I’ve been on a certain self-publishing facebook site that shall remain nameless for its own protection. I pop in there once in a while to see what other authors are up to, but I’ve discovered this is not a site for actual writers, just for people who want to make money off of self publishing: people who don’t realize that words’ lives matter.
First of all: HA HA HA! The joke’s on them! Why would anyone cook up a get rich quick scheme around writing books? Being a writer is an affliction. Don’t people know that? It’s not something you chose, it choses you, and it destroys you.
But here’s the part that kills me. These people are obsessed with content creation speed and have no care for quality at all. They seem to think selling a book has no bearing on the quality of the writing. To all those posers I say only this: Words’ Lives Matter.
Speed Writers and Other Sons of Bitches
Hey, maybe they’re right and it’s all about creating a lot of blather as quickly as possible, but if so, I’m insulted by this fact. They leave advice like, “These days, it doesn’t matter if you have every quote mark in the right place or adhere to the rules of grammar. You just have to write fast and market well to make money.”
Am I a Nazi for grammar and punctuation? Yes. If a comma is out of place, I lose my mind. I can’t even imagine no one else will notice it.
That person’s attitude bothers me even more because its just like saying, “Words aren’t actually important. They don’t actually mean anything.”
Look at Politics: Words’ Lives Matter!
Look at our political climate today. Not just today, actually, but generally. There are a lot of people who just, ahem … say things.
They open their mouths and words spill out, seemingly in any random order, and this satisfies them. They think they’ve created meaning.
Some people are fooled by this, and these are exactly the people who think words and grammar and punctuation don’t matter. Just spew out any random words and people will be satisfied that something was said. Intelligent people, however, are not fooled by word-spewing, because they know that words’ lives matter.
Words mean things, and sometimes people say important things that change the course of the world, and when they do, they better get the freakin’ commas in the right place, because punctuation changes the meanings of sentences. That’s what it’s there for.
So sure, if you’re writing a mystery thriller and you don’t want to bother hiring a copy editor, it’s not going to destroy the world, but it’s disrespectful to the whole idea of writing and the notion that words and meanings actually matter. If you think words and punctuation don’t matter, my friend, Do Not Become A Writer In the First Place.
I failed in my mission. I ranted. I couldn’t help it. God bless you and good night. (Here‘s another blog about punctuation for a better life)