Saturday, January 20, 2007

Who am I today?

I occasionally cross paths with writers--either in person on in on-line forums--who self-limit their opportunities.

For example: I am a white male of a certain age. The self-limiting writers I meet would have me believe that I should only write stories about white males of my age to be read by white males of my age. This indicates a lack of imagination on the part of these other writers--writers who, ironically, may write science fiction or fantasy or horror and seem to have no problems imagining things that don't exist.

If I can imagine faster-than-light travel or ghosts of dead relatives speaking to me, why can't I imagine what it might be like to be a different gender or a different ethnic background or a different religion? Why can't I imagine what it might be like to be substantially younger or substantially older than I am? Why can't I imagine what it might be like to be handicapped or to have substantially more or less education or to live at a substantially different socio-economic level?

Why indeed?

So I write for men's magazines and women's magazines, white magazines and black magazines, teen magazines and senior magazines, and on and on and on.

But one thing I don't do is pretend to be something other than what I am when I'm dealing with editors. I present myself as a writer, and as long as I meet editorial requirements with my submissions, few editors question who I am off the page.

Of course, sometimes editors change my byline so readers think I'm someone else...

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