FridayFix • Gatekeepers vs. Goalies

Scott and I discuss “outsider art” and its correlation (if any) to the publishing business. We discuss the difference, if any, between a “writer” and an “aspiring writer.” We talk about the need (or uselessness) of a gatekeeper when it comes to the business of publishing.

ArtArtistFF2Two words of warning: Scott had some pretty hefty dental work done that day, so he sounds a little out of it at times, mostly because he was a little out of it at times. But also a total trooper. Second, sometimes we talk a little a lot. This is one of those times. We’ll work on keeping a timer in future ‘casts.

What do you think?  What makes one a creator or writer? Do you think goalies or gatekeepers are important? A necessary evil? Just an awful hinderance? Join the conversation in the comments below!

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  1. sadock

    ROFLOL!!! I loved this FridayFix™!!!!

    I was wondering how long it’d take y’all to realize that the core of your disagreement boiled down to semantics. You were 73% of the way through the episode (37.5 minutes in) before Scott finally defined what “Gatekeeper” meant to him. I think it was in the last five minutes when he finally explained what he meant by @ARealGirl being more of a “Goalie.”

    One of the most valuable lessons I learned in college is that once a debate devolves to the point where you’re arguing over definitions/semantics, it’s time to walk away and agree to disagree. It took me quite a while to learn that lesson, but I’m glad I did. It’s served me well since then. @scottsigler‘s absolutely correct. If opposing sides of a debate are defining terminology differently, there’s no way they will ever be able to find common ground. It’s like their communicating in a foreign language, but neither side is aware of it :))

    Another aspect I found refreshing in this episode was how confrontational y’all were with another. It was a pleasant contrast to the “Can you differentiate the Art from the Artist” show I listened to a couple days ago. I expected *that* FridayFix™ would be highly volatile, but it was exceptionally calm. It had the feel of an English afternoon tea with both of you slowly elucidating your rationale as you sipped your Earl Gray.

    @scottsigler, did you go back and listen to this after you’d sobered up? @ARealGirl was spot on about whatever Rxs you were on affecting your lucidity. There were several points throughout the show where you could tell that your cognitive skills were significantly impaired. When you’re sober, your thoughts aren’t that scattered and you don’t repeat yourself like you did a few times throughout this episode of the FridayFix™. I also doubt you’d have been as patient as you were at the beginning of the show before you started ranting. You generally don’t hold back for that long when you’re rearing to go and have something to say. I hope you didn’t drive yourself home in that condition ;P

  2. Lisa

    My thoughts went to Music educators which is my profession for 22 years. Although I do not make money from performing on my instrument, I create art with my conducting and interpretation of a piece. I create artists every time a students tries in my class. I am kind of a gatekeeper if I do not refer the student to continue playing in junior high.

  3. Justin

    Thank you for creating such a thought provoking episode. I work for one of the big airport bookstore companies so this topic is discussed frequently in our office. We receive 1,000s of unsolicited self published books every year. We love that the internet has allowed so many people to make a living from their creative passions but it makes us scratch our heads that so many writers think that step one is to upload their book to Amazon and step two is to submit it to the airport bookstore. We only get to display 4,000 different titles to our readers each year because of the limited square footage of our stores.
    If any author cannot convince even a small publisher to invest time and money into their book it definitely does not make sense for us to risk our valuable space. It is not always fun being the goalie with a 99% blocked shot rating but our readers appreciate having a curated selection of books to choose from when they are in a hurry. Without the publishing houses acting as gatekeepers and our defensive teammates we would be flooded with shots and it would not be financially feasible to sell books in airports.
    Me love authors who worked hard and won the backing of the gatekeepers and are happy to take that success to the next level.

  4. Joshua Meyer

    I just want to say I’ve immensely enjoyed the last two Friday Fixes. I always enjoy Friday Fixes, but these two girthy episodes have been even more a delight than usual. While I certainly understand the long format is probably not sustainable every week, I certainly encourage you to sit down to hash out complicated topics as often as the muse strikes you to do so, because I quite enjoy it.

    I honestly can’t decide which of you I think is right, because I kept agreeing with what you were both saying. If I had to guess, I think maybe (just maybe) this topic is so close to your hearts that the difference in nomenclature made it impossible for each of you to fully grasp the others’ points. But, you did a much better job trying to grasp that goal than most people usually do, which was heartening.

    I hope Scott’s teeth are feeling better.

  5. Steve R. Yeager

    Scott, I’ve been listening to your podcast off and on since Earthcore. You’ve been a great influence on my own writing, and my Raptor Apocalypse series owes a tip of the hat to your stylistic influences.
    After listening to this FF, something you said trigged a question that I hope you can discuss on a future FF.
    Have you found it more difficult to write and revise as you have become a better writer?
    This might sound like a counter-intuitive question, or one with a simple answer, but I find that the more I learn about the craft, the harder it is to shut down the inner critic.

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