There doesn’t seem to be as much arguing here as there was 8 years ago, so I thought I’d add something that might piss people off a bit. Here we go. The first of the end-of-year/best-of-year lists are starting to drop. What could this old coot possibly think of that?
Unpopular opinion #2958:
I don’t believe you need or deserve constant reassurance or trigger warnings about things like other people winning awards or getting chosen for best-of lists. You already know it’s a complex web of personal opinion of jurors/editors, marketing department prowess/budget, and political considerations — so when you don’t appear here, do yourself a favour and don’t whine publicly about it or expect kind-hearted-friends to coddle you by assuring you of your worth. At some point in your apprenticeship as a writer, you should have learned to behave independent of constant approbation.
Yes, you poured your heart and all creative jizz into your book, but so did everyone else–including both those on and absent from the list. When you complain about this stuff, or wait for friends to do it for you, you’re doing nothing but proving you’re not actually suited to being a writer while denigrating and reducing the accomplishment of the work that did make it.
So everyone, go have a privately disappointed cry (reasonable), drink a shot of something sweet to wash out the bitterness (advised), and get on with writing the next one (imperative) instead of waiting for people to give you the it’s-not-your-fault-tweet-trophy (unreasonable). The simple fact is there are many more writers than their are chances for recognition. Yes, it sucks to not be recognized, but writers are no longer individuals, we’re a crowd. If you’re in it for awards and lists, go write either a shitty book designed to take one or a great one so brilliant it can’t be ignored.
Hmm, I wonder if that will work. Leave your dissenting opinions in the comments. Agreement will also work, but will score you fewer SNAG points.
- NYT’s Top 10 (which they brand as “best”)
- NYT’s Top 100 (which they brand as “notable”)
- Time Magazine’s list (which they brand as “must read”) contains three Canadian titles (squee! America noticed us! tee hee!)
One thought on “The End-of-year lists are coming”
Given that BIPOC people are still – even after recent years’ vast improvements — still seriously under-represented in Prizeworld shortlists (Giller: 1; Writers Trust fiction 2; Journey Prize 1; GG English fiction: 0; etc.), I’d say a little obstreperousness and purposeful pouting is not yet out of order.
White people can shut right up tho.