Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Lonely Middle

DragonCon was a cold bath for all but the most prominent writers or those with a dedicated fan base.  The lesser lights lingered in the shadows, their feeble presence all but disappearing in the overwhelming fire of the famous.

Writers are like stars; some flash brilliantly as novae with a significant work while the vast majority - neither brilliant nor inept - produce a steady stream of readable, and moderately interesting stories.  There are an enormous number of writers who inhabit this realm.  They are the ones who produce enough material to have a (very) modest following, but never manage to put out enough material to produce a decent income.  They are hobbyists for the most part, some investing more time and effort than warranted for the rewards.

Most of these strive solely for the joy of writing and the occasional adulation crumbs tossed their way.  These writers are the other people on convention panels, the ones who sit beside the stars.  They are the ones with the program ribbons standing around watching the long lines at the novelists' autographing tables. They might not shine brightly, but they are the ones who fill the between pages of magazines month after month and give our genre variety and novelty.

These pedestrian writers build the foundations of our genre that are the bedrock upon which the stars build their reputations.  Without the deep background of concepts, images, tropes, and insights these steady producers create there would be no market.  There would be no such thing as an our genre.

So let's hear it for those who labor in the shadows of the greats. Let's hear it for the ordinary writers who consistently produce readable works.  Let's hear it for those who keep this genre interesting.

And why not go out of your way to thank the less-than-famous whenever you can.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I have enjoyed many a story of yours in Analog since the early 90s.


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