Yes, I worked hard to break through. Super-hard. But despite all that effort I put in, it could have been harder. And writing is such a challenge to get write, requiring such focus to hone, that I don’t think it’s a surprise that a lot of writers are white males who come from middle- to upper-class homes. They’ve got a whole societal structure geared around supporting them.
–Ferrett Steinmetz on writer privilege.
Ditto for me on this one (minus the “male” part). I wrote hard and worked hard to sell Liesmith. But I had the privilege to be able to do that because I have a nice 9-to-5 office job that pays well and doesn’t leave me mentally and physically exhausted as at 5:05; I have no dependents to take care of and thus more free time; I’m as healthy as your average 30-year-old nerd; I come from a middle-class background where reading and writing were lauded and encouraged; and so on and so forth. On the staircase of publishing, I started well above the first step. Above the first landing, even. I don’t apologise for that–most of the factors weren’t really in my control–but I do acknowledge it.
I’ve also spoken about something similar to this before in the context of self-publishing, where I think it applies even more than in traditional publishing (because of the additional costs that need to be filled by the author).
And no offence to white male authors–I mean, some of my favourite books were written by white male authors, amirite?–but they really do have it on the easiest setting in publishing, with people like myself (white middle-class women) coming in close second.
Our voices aren’t the only ones that matter. But we do tend to shout the loudest.