When I published this essay in 2015, the publishing industry was 89% white. Based on new stats for 2018, it’s now 86% white. All your talk is cheap. buzzfeed.com/saeedjones/sel…
When I sold my memoir in 2015, 8 publishers bid on it. I can count on ONE HAND the number of black people I saw in the offices of all eight publishing houses I visited. publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/in…
I’ve got stories! Here’s one: A book sales exec (straight white man, of course) said that when my book came out I’d have to be like a “hooker next to the Holland Tunnel, ready to take any and all customers.” His colleague, hoping to bid on my book, was a woman sitting next to me.
It irritates me when writers, after working REALLY HARD on an essay, tweet: “Here’s a thing I wrote, you can read it or whatever gonna go get a sandwich now haha.” Like, shut up entirely OR SAY IT WITH YO CHEST. I don’t think it’s cool to downplay the work.
ALSO: If you’re shy or anxious about promoting something you’ve written, you can (and should) ask your editor to help you craft the language. That’s... kind of their thing. And, at the very least, be proud of the work you did WITH your editor. Do it for them, if not yourself.
I’m not saying “imposter syndrome” isn’t real. I’m saying that advocating for our work is part of THE work. The last step (sharing our work with readers, inviting them into it) is as vital as the first step (facing the terror of the first draft.) Follow through.
I have had this conversation with COUNTLESS Uber drivers, but I’ve gotta say: My Uber driver Syed and I are getting a real kick out of our names right now. It always starts with them seeing “Saeed” and gently asking “Where are you from?”
Y’all, I know I’m hungover but Syed is so sweet. “You’re so nice, brother. I like you. I like the nice people I meet. Life is too short. We have to love one another.” My heart.
Syed’s uncle pick out his name. I told him that my mom was given a book of names when she was pregnant and got overwhelmed. Eventually, she put her hand over the names and focused on the meanings. Saeed means “happy and fortunate.”
#Outlander fans should all be investigative journalists. I was going to wait to tell y’all who from the cast I will be interviewing on #AM2DM but… some of y’all have already figured out?! WHEW.
So, here’s the tea: On Wednesday, 10/31, I’ll have a sit-down interview with Sam Heughan, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin from #Outlander on @AM2DM. I’m very excited and still a bit stunned as to how all of this has come about. #KiltDaddy
It is my solemn vow to be caught up on #Outlander before the interview. I’ve been traveling a lot for work lately so I might *not* be able to live tweet everything. (I’m sorry! Please don’t kill me. I’m so pretty!) But I’m determined to catch up.