“I would rather write than talk about writing.”
I’ve been thinking about this quote all week. Most writers have friends who are writers. We talk about writing when we meet up; the publishing world, what projects we’re working on. It’s our common bond. If we’re lucky, the conversation veers from publishing to more important stuff, like, I don’t know, how’s the wife? The dogs? The big landscaping project that nearly broke your back in the spring now that it’s fall? But it never fails to return to publishing, and rarely is it good news. The mid-list is dead, editors don't edit, advances are getting smaller, etc.
I think I agree with the S. E. Hinton quote. Lately, the talk in my circles, on the blogs I read about writing and publishing, have been amazingly negative.
One out of four people don’t read a book. People were just appalled at this news a few weeks ago—writers mostly. And I was left scratching my head. With all of the distractions out in the world, DVDs, iPods, movies on demand, TV shows on the computer, video games, REAL-LIFE, I think it’s pretty amazing that 3 out of 4, 75%, are still reading a book a year.
But it was the 25% that garnered the attention. Like the whole world is supposed to comprised of readers? It’s never been that way. And it would be my suggestion (since we are in the middle of the Information Revolution) that more people are reading more now than ever before in history. It’s just my hunch. I have nothing to back it up. But there sure seems to be more road signs, no smoking signs, and pharmaceutical advertisements now than ever before. I know, I know, that’s not reading for pleasure, that’s reading because you have to.
I didn’t know there was a difference.
Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe I think it’s hard enough to sit my butt in the chair and write in the first place—listening to the doom and gloom and digesting it, geez, you wonder what’s the point? If writing wasn’t so much fun, and hanging out with other writers wasn’t so interesting, I don’t know, maybe it would just be easier not to.
But writers write because they have to—just like readers read because they have to. I guess my point is: I wish people would lighten up a little.
Being a writer is fun, like Rob said. Isn’t it?
OK, enough said, I think. I’m getting back to writing my latest novel—it’s time for a cosmic, meteoric, sweaty showdown between all the good and evil that’s bouncing around inside my head , but I’ll leave you with another quote first:
“Something is always dying in publishing.”
Loren D. Estleman
If I could be so bold as to add to that quote, I would say: “Something is always being born in publishing, too.”