So, the other day was a really funny day if you were a writer.
“Why?” you ask. (Sorry if I just put words in your mouth, it was for dramatic purposes)
Real simple. A fledgling writer put her self-published e-book up at some point and asked various review bloggers to get a copy and review it. I’m sure the writer’s out there know where I’m going, but for everyone else, this review was the result. What was so funny was the way the writer of the ebook devolved into a petulant 12 years-old in the comments and failed to do anything with a modicum of professionalism in response to both the review and the comments. So, yes, we writer’s do, like everyone else, enjoy the spectacle of a person’s self-destruction.
Now, as of said incident, whether caused by it or not, people have begun again to harp on the self-publishing movement and all things connected to it yet again. One instance cause a fellow writer, C. S. Daley, to write this blog post. While I can’t say for sure who he is talking about, I have a few guesses, and even if they are all wrong, they are still people that have said something similar recently. I began to wonder why we seem to be always having the same discussion, which is really just a shouting match at one another with fingers in our ears.
And then I thought of it: Hamburgers.
*Special Note* The only animals that may be harmed for the rest of this prolonged metaphor are of an ephemeral existence. Nothing actual living has been harmed, except possibly the egos of some at the very end.
“Everyone can make a hamburger, right? Sure they can,” I say as my eyes shift back and forth looking for some fake belief in what I just said.
Writing is like making hamburgers:
Characters = Type of meat
Beginning, middle, and end = make a patty, heat in a skillet, and add to bun
Subplots and Style = condiments and topping
Now you have this hamburger, how are you feed it to people? There are lots of ways depending on how you make you make. From food trucks to Micheline Star restaurants. So, of course most people are going to try the best restaurants they can. For a lot of us, some of the best burgers have been from those establishments. A few people get into those restaurants. But what about the rest of the hamburgers? The cooks have choices, but each have their own limited audience. Or, they can take the gamble and open their own restaurant. Some do well, a few more even better, but not every restaurant is meant to last.
Now here is where perception changes everything. For the upstart restaurant, they are doing just what the want: making hamburgers, feeding them to people and having people come back for more. Does not stop their dreams of one day having one of their hamburgers being spotlighted in the ranks of the Micheline burgers. But they use the restaurant as place to work on that. But the up scale guys see the indie restaurants as lesser, sometime no better than a McDonalds or Burger King. They don’t have a world class chef perfecting their burger to its highest degree. They don’t have the benefit of a restaurant name people know. They don’t think they could have the same quality of ingredients or the skill to create a worthy competitor to theirs. So why have would people want those burgers when the up scale burgers are of such great quality?
And this just makes it seem like the consumer doesn’t know what they like. No matter where you get it, how it’s made, and with what ingredients, they are all hamburgers. No kind of hamburger is going to make another either better or worse. The individual hamburgers will do that.
So just make your hamburgers, forget everyone else’s, and let the diners decide where they want to go. It what is going to happen anyways no matter how much we talk about it, or just shout the same stereotypes at each other.
I’m going to go make a hotdog now.