We stand alone, dazed and confused, wondering how on earth we ended up here. The battle rages around us as we clutch our manuscripts to our breast. One side fires off rounds of “you’ll never be respected, they’re not what they say they are, you’ll never be a best seller!” while the other fights back with “you’ll spend years in a slush pile, no good agent ever takes on a new author, they’ll take your copyright and abandon you”. We stand alone, dazed and confused.
As with any senseless war, there are casualties. The good that die young, the battle weary who lose heart and surrender, the many that never leave their land in the first place, fearing the realities of war. The real atrocities, however, take place off the battle field, far away from the fight. They linger in rows of uninspired shelves, they rejoice in the mundane. The battle rages on and yet it seems the only real victims of this war are the innocent, the ones that we hold most dear, the readers themselves.
We pray that someone will call a cease fire, that a leader among men will come forth and offer an olive branch, that the warring factions will understand that working together is the only solution. We wait, we hope, we, the keepers of dreams, we try to keep the faith that one day humanity will once again take precedence in the arts.
What we fail to realize is that the very manuscript that we hold, our baby, our blood, sweat, and tears, is what they really seek. It encases our imagination, it has the ability to inspire, to create new worlds … to enlighten. To the victor goes the spoils, but the spoils no longer exist without us. The battle rages, and we, the very reason the battle lines were drawn, we are caught in the crossfire.