24 April 2011

Comfort or Despair

There are a lot of us about. Writers, that is. I have found an enormous community out there, all obsessed with writing, getting published, selling books. I don't know whether I should be comforted by so many similar people sharing similar goals or whether I should forget my own aspirations in the face of overwhelming competition.

Although we writers support and encourage each other, applaud every publishing contract, cheer every sale, the grim reality remains that those successes are not mine.

It's hard to get published, few manage it. Even that is not sufficient in itself. We writers need to be read. It's the fuel that powers our work. Again, this market is finite. If someone is reading your work, they aren't reading mine.

Worth comes into it in a big way for me. Is my writing worthy of a readership? Am I worthy enough to be a proper writer?

Based on comparison with a masterpiece like David Mitchell's "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet", the answer is a resounding "NO, NEVER!"

So why bother?

There's no prospect of me writing like a Mitchell or a Banks, but there would be no point to it either. They do the job perfectly.
Also, amazingly, not everyone wants to read Mitchell or Banks. I spoke to a friend who is a big fan of David Mitchell and she couldn't get through Thousand Autumns, found it uninteresting.

Also, readers read quicker than we authors write. Much quicker. And there are a lot more readers than writers.

I better get cracking then. Finish Due Diligence, edit Technical Difficulties, write as long and as well as I can.

My readers are waiting, agog.

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