I have been publishing new authors and playwrights online for over 15 years. I have made a lot of great friends and it is a delight when one of the authors I originally published finds great success. Saying “Yes” is hard. Saying “No” is easy. I always say “Yes” to a person of great talent and promise even if they later disappoint.
Writers are notoriously high strung and dangerous, and after dealing with hundreds of them in my line of work as an editor and publisher, I have come to expect the manic highs and the purgatory lows.
Musician Neil Young is infamous for his mania. Agreeing one moment to do a project and the next second backing out of a concert tour he previously agreed to do, and I love his explanation for the mind change: “Sometimes things fall apart as quickly as they came together.” That’s prescient because, in the Arts, things are often put together on a whim — so why wouldn’t a dismantling also take a similar, incendiary, path into ashes?
What I find most interesting is when authors, after leaving our publications, later decide they want to return to writing with us and they ask me for a spot in the publication queue. I am usually open to that opportunity because the rejuvenation of old blood into new spirit can be enhancing for everyone.
Unfortunately, many of those “return requests” from authors are made more of ego boost gone sour than earnest apple pie slice — “Hello, Am I Still Wanted? Yes?! Great! Goodbye!” — because there is never an intention to ever submit anything for publication. They’re only looking for validation and encouragement and that’s a bothersome blow to a publisher’s daily intention and rasping hourly timeline. Google never sleeps. Google are always hungry. It is my mission to feed that insomniac beast and I don’t have time to affirm the turpitude of hollow hope.
This lack of honor and moral satiety from former talents has become humorous for me after all these years. I can divide the serious from the sycophant because one is click-teasing for something better while the other is hip hoping to hop for betterment without putting out any energy back into the world.
There was never a more perfect Perpetual Motion Machine invented than the well-intentioned author who never writes a single word. Around and around they go, where they’ll stop nobody knows — fueled by their own mindless stewing over wondering if they will ever be good enough — back and forth and up and down always in motion and never ending.
For those perpetual author machines — “Yes” is never enough.