Monday, October 5, 2009
You know what really pisses me off? Idea thieves. It happened again, a magazine that will remain nameless rejected a pitch I sent about a month ago on the grounds that it was too "personal an essay", that mind you I only pitched because another magazine I wrote the essay for on spec- never again-, I'll mention that one, The Believer, turned it away at the last minute for the same reason, stole the name of the essay, and used it for an article about FOOD. The title of the essay is very specific and not one that you would necessarily even associate with food unless someone had recently seen this small thread of words together, like oh say, in a pitch.
Now I know intellectual property is slippery and one could argue that it was a coincidence but I will tell you right now, it wasn't. This happens alot actually and it more than anything pisses me off. More than any other aspect of this business idea thievery bothers me to the bone. I'll be frank you, I don't make enough to pay the bills and must supplement my income from outside sources and as a writer you depend on the integrity and honesty of others to respect your unpublished intellectual property, which is what I refer to it as. Ideas are hard to come by, they don't grow on trees and most of the time when a writer pitches something it's because they are able and willing and excited to follow the path that is that story, and so when you pull that right away, when you TAKE it away you are stealing a little from their mouths. But most of all, their art.
Now would be a good time to mention that I do more than just write music reviews or Best of LA funny ticky tacky blurbs. I write poetry, short stories, feminist academic responses to pop culture and right now a novel. I consider myself every bit an artist as someone who paints for hours or plays guitar in a dark room. Trying to get my work out to you, the world, is difficult and many times the only thing people are willing to let me write, are music reviews or interviews, which I don't mind, but there is so much more I want to do and to have people in a position of power to rob me of an opportunity is selfish and in my opinion, unconscionable.
I now can no longer pitch this essay with this title because it is too similar to the one in this magazine, no one will publish it, and its an essential part of the story, it SETS up the narrative. It's a very clever, witty title. Which I now know even more because someone took it from me for their own use. I was currently working on having my friend score it for me so I could read it as a performance piece. AND on top of everything else, the magazine that did this is one that I really loved and have been reading since the nineties and I believe has played an integral role in young girls finding their voices and inner strength. I am beyond peeved. It wasn't a music review or an interview with a band, it was a personal academic essay, an intellectual property I now need to re appraise.
And while were on the subject of things I hate, I hate semi famous people fucking with my friends and taking advantage of them. Being an artist is REALLY FUCKING HARD and it takes lots of sacrifices from the person trying to make their way. Many of us don't lead traditional lives and put alot of time and energy and money at stake on the hopes that we might reach our goals, so to have someone who's been there, who knows the struggle and has then made it to a position of mobility, to take advantage of a currently struggling individual is fucked up. Uggh, I'm so fed up with everything.
I need to clean my house because it looks like the inside of my head and I'm sitting here stuffing my face and wondering, will this be the nacho, will this be the nacho that satisfies me, but of course it never is.
ps, can we put roman polanski, jon gosslin, and woody allen on a boat to hell? jesus, im so OVER it.