Monday, October 29, 2007

Some writers are more equal than others.... -- veinglory

Hanging out in writing forums I am sometimes struck by just how--okay I'm just going to say this--pretentious writers and wanna-be writers can be as a group. Here are some of the beliefs I see over and over.

1) Writing to please an audience or to be published is weak-minded and unethical as it distorts one's true artistic vision.

2) People only write about sex to be popular and because they are to inept to please readers any other way.

3) People only read sex because they are frigid, too ugly to get laid or perverted. People only read romance because their real life is drab, they have unrealistic expectations to they are too dumb to read real literature.

And I am sure you have come across a range of other, similar beliefs common in forums for writers. My latest reply was this and I rather like it as is manages to be more-or-less positive in tone.

I think people fail to understand that writing is just a method to communicate. Success is how well you communicate your message to your audience. Some people want to communicate only with themself (perhaps as symbolised by their muse or God). That's fine; that's what Emily Dickinson did. I prefer a wider audience. Some people's message is artistic bliss or philosophical concepts, mine is entertainment and emotion--including sexual feelings.

Writers' achievements should be measures against their own goals. Other writers strive to avoid what I strive to achieve. Ain't human diversity grand?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding point number one... I vaguely remember more than a few well-loved literary *cough* writers who wrote (and prolifically, I might add), mostly to keep the wolf from their doors--not for any aspirations of eternal and critical appreciation of their opus.

Frances Trollope (mother of better known Anthony) always comes to mind... Louisa May Alcott... Alexandre Dumas pere... Emilio Salgari... Jules Verne...

I have no doubt these writers were both gifted and dedicated to their craft, but to say that writing for money lowers the product falls flat in the face of these (and oh so many other!) examples.