Saturday, April 18, 2015


Some authors say they write for the thrill of telling a tale well, or the "feel" of molding words into some final, perfect form.  Others are in it for adulation and income that derives from their luck, talent and/or skill.  Almost every writer would agree that the story-telling craft is an art form.

But what is the value of art if no one views it?  What is the value of an unread manuscript, an unfinished novella, or a stack of incomplete short stories (or infinitely rejected ones, for that matter?) Horrifyingly, this last category hosts an overwhelming majority of writers' efforts that dwarfs everything ever published.  Unseen art might have intrinsic value, but unless someone other than the author sees and is affected it has no objective value.  Writing into a vacuum contributes nothing to society or move private dreams into the consciousness of society.  For a story to penetrate another's mind it must be available, recognized, and accessed.

At one time there were a limited number of arbiters acting as guardians of access, a phalanx of agents, editors, and publishers who alone dictated what they deemed appropriate to be seen by the public.  But, today the means of telling a story to a large number of people are within the grasp of anyone with access to the global Internet and a modicum of sophistication in it's tools. In some random cases this can produce immortality*, fans, and infrequently, income.

While there is a monetary value to be achieved from writing well, success in writing is more than a matter of income.   Having work acknowledged by at least one other non-family member is gratifying.  Having something accepted by a reputable editor is even more so.   In both cases the  acknowledgement validates the ideas, sweat, and tears that went into the story's creation.

And isn't that what writers need; to have their voices heard?

*So long as the server survives, anyway


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!