Been a little busy as of late what with running the Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest, so haven’t really been blogging much (you may have noticed).
So, until things are back on track here, go check out what CZP is doing over on their blog with their Women in Horror Month features. While all of these have been fascinating reads – and I’m not above saying “here, go listen to my friends” – one thing you absolutely must not miss on this blog is Carolyn Ives Gilman’s answer to the question “Why do you write horror?”.
And here I have an ulterior motive (who doesn’t?).
Many people ask what writers really do. Why do you bother writing? What’s in it for you? Most of you don’t make a living at this. Why bother? are all questions that you’ll hear if you choose to live your life as a writer (or, really, as any kind of artist).
The response is simple:
A writer’s job is to make you uneasy; to force you to face what you don’t want to see.
It’s a transgressive life. One filled with people who turn their heads away from the darkness, too afraid to look into its face and fight. But you have to fight. Far beyond the too simple “fight or die” battle cry that the sedimentary masses raise to the heavens, there is a headier, more raucous call to be answered.
Sometimes my job is as simple as showing you what is out there, looming in shadows that stretch long and devour the lost – those living on the outskirts – before you ever really even notice they’re gone. I do not give answers. I don’t always have them. But I do know what is out there, and I will paint its face for you, and in measures by turns obscure, brutal, esoteric, and blunt, I will show it to you.
Writing is guerrilla warfare on complacency; on hatred; on abuses both visceral and less tangible. It is a constant struggle to take hold of someone’s skull and turn their face back to the things they’re too ashamed to admit exist.
I am not a soldier. I am not a man of war. But I do carry weapons. These words go before me, honed and sharpened blades excising the necrotic flesh from the tissue of society. I am one voice, but I am legion: the world swells with my numbers, friends and colleagues, strangers and oracles; children of voice all. Let the chorus rage.
This is my battle cry. What’s yours?