Newcomers, Don’t Read the Classics

just saw a privileged person complaining about how the Newcomers don’t read the Classics, and let me tell you,

as a Newcomer who read a lot of Classics for college, um… no.

obviously, be aware of what’s happening and what’s happened in your genre(s), but sometimes cooler things are happening elsewhere, and that’s okay. good, even! those interesting things will help you a lot more than whatever dated nonsense is in those Classics,

also reading in general and a lot of Classics are inaccessible for people. being kind is free, y’all.

we only have 100 years on Earth at best, and just in case you’ve forgotten, we’re in the middle of a goddamn pandemic.

read whatever makes you feel comforted, fulfilled, informed, empowered, and/or happy.

life is too short to waste time chasing clout.

a bunch of books piled haphazardly atop one another.
Photo by Min An on

i wrote the above thread before twitter blew up about GASP! some authors not reading every day.

anyone who cares about the many ways people are marginalized should understand that not everyone has the same amount of free time, energy, light, books, etc.

“but, HFE, why wouldn’t people have books?”

because they’re freakin’ poor, Brian!

or they’re living in a town that’s just banned a bunch of books cuz the wannabe book burners don’t want their precious children growing up to be something other than a good old christian soldier. or their library’s closed down altogether!

hell, i barely had any books growing up besides the Bible and other Christian propaganda, Tolkien’s Holy Quadrilogy, Maus by Art Spiegelman, and the Tintin books if we include an ex family friend’s library.

  • Would y’all pundits seriously want me reading christofascist garbage on some inane quest to become a Good Author™️?
  • Hell, I probably did read Tolkien’s Holy Quadrilogy every day, and look where we are now.
  • I was definitely too young for Tintin. I remember crying cuz there was a panel of babies being tossed into the river, and my mom and the ex family friend had to explain to me that no, it was just showing what people said about that particular character’s people and culture.
  • And I’m pretty sure Spiegelman himself would agree with me here: “No! Don’t read Maus every day on some inane quest to prove you’re a Good Author™️! Maus will fuck you up!” Maus is a once-in-a-while read, not an every day read.

You know how to prove you’re a Good Author™️? By authoring good works.

Sure, reading Daughter of the Moon Goddess has got me wanting to push my imagery more, but no book, not even a How-to-Write book, is going to make you a better writer. Reality isn’t the Sims. You can’t just read books and level up whatever skill you’re reading about.

Reading gives you tips and tricks, but it won’t write your story for you. That’s something you have to do―at least until AI takes over everything and we’re left with drudge work.

“HFE, thank you for creating and sharing so much art and writing for free. How can we help turn your passion and skills into a full-time gig?”

I’m glad you asked!

If you can give me a one-time tip, head over to ko-fi. I’ve also got emotes and icons you can buy.

If you can commit to a monthly tip, you can set that up via twitch or patreon. Twitch also lets you set up alternate payment schedules: every three months and every six months. Ko-fi lets you set up monthly payments now, too!

You can also buy some characters and critters I’ve designed on toyhouse.

And if you have no money to spare (understandable), one way you can help me out is by commenting and using as many share buttons as possible. Commenting gives me feedback on what works y’all are passionate about. Sharing helps expose my works to new people. The bigger my audience grows, the more audience members with money will encounter my works.

Thank you for taking time to read this. I hope you enjoy what you’ve found here.

Homework (links in this piece).


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