There’s been various…um, discussions in various places about how writers should/should not promote their work, mostly centering around whether they should put their writing on the Web for free.
While this particular posting by current SFWA Vice President Howard V. Hendrix did not start the discussion, it’s generated quite a bit of comment, particularly by SFWA presidential candidate John Scalzi.
Writer Jo Walton came up with a clever way to respond to this bruhaha: International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day on April 23.
Now, I’m not in SFWA; I haven’t written or sold much fiction. I’ve made a fair amount of money over the years as a tech writer, and some as a free lancer. However, I believe the whole concept of “technopeasanthood” is, frankly, very old-fashioned. If you enjoy participating on the Web, sharing some of your fiction/non-fiction/art/music/photos/knitting designs/recipes – so what? Participating on the Web may help your career or it may hinder it, but it’s hardly the business of a writer’s organization to disparage this sales/publicity venue in the way Howard Hendrix did.
But this isn’t merely a writer’s issue – it’s a an issue for anyone who sees the Web as something a little larger than a big bulletin board.
So I urge anyone to use the Web to help spread your own creativity on the Web on April 23.
There are also T-shirts available at:
I plan to wear mine the Saturday of the Nebula awards on May 12 (though not to the banquet itself).