Fighting Words

By Mark Antony Rossi

When a writer challenges the established order his words are fighting words. And fighting words are often the difference between your integrity and their conformity. But I’ve found the fight these days is more about being famous than building a creative folio.

I meet too many writers who can write 100,000-word zombie novels but are utterly incapable of composing a protest letter to City Hall. The world has problems that require writers raging with conviction. Instead I talk to people with passion deficients. They are more interested in word counts than body counts.

The amount of specialization I come across can literally boggle the mind. There are sub genres and sub sub genres such as paranormal erotic romance. Not exactly sure what that entails but I suppose it involves dead people.  Categorization is supposed to make it easier to market your work to the right group. Yet instead this path leads you to a literary ghetto with ten other writers to compete against an ever-shrinking slice of the reading pie.

There is a serious creative disconnect when writers decide to fight but fight vigorously about public image instead of intellectual content. Does my website look good? Is my book cover going to capture readers? These are legitimate issues to resolve but they should not consume all the oxygen in one’s head. At this point I’d rather hear debates about biographies — at least we’d be talking about writing and words and not pictures and computers.

The technology partnering efforts to present our work throughout the world may also be eroding our pride and professionalism. Writing should not be taken for granted. It is an arduous and lonely task fraught with internal self-doubt and external rejection. If we are to retain our identity as individuals our posture and poetry must be ready to fight the forces in a world bent on curtailing freedom. Zombies and monsters have their seat at the literary table. However; it is the recognition and revolt against real life creatures of encroachment that must rally the rebel writer to fight with every precious word for a happy ending in everyone’s book.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. 

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