IN VINO VERITAS

2 Dec

 

Is it me, or is all about the money, the fame, and the glory? Maybe it’s the way the words leap from the page, or the perfection of a paired sentence, or even the framing of an inordinately-chiselled phrase. There again, perhaps that is what the craft is all about; the sculpting, the rhythm, the rhyme, the positioning of the prose. I know we are chasing dreams but surely the dream is more immediate. Here it lies at the end of one’s pen – clear, concise, brilliant; in and of itself – unbound, unrecognized, unpublished, and yet foiled by it’s own perfect iridescence. There she be; the apple of my eye , the offspring of my extraordinary exertion. Should I not be satisfied? Do I need to reach the dizzying heights of the NY Times bestseller list or the lofty peaks of the randomly selected or the Oprah-recommended?

This may sound, or rather read a little jaded, but I think I am coming to the profound discovery that it truly is about the writing and not the readership. Sure I can hammer out eighty thousand words, but does that make me a writer, or does that make me just a writer? The craft is everything; if it’s good, everybody will notice. If it ain’t, then print out three hundred copies of whatever indelicate scribblings you have and sell them to the highest bidder. If like me you prefer to hone, chip, carve, and raise your wordage to Everistian or even Dickensian verbage, then do as I do and remain in the back rooms. There is a lot to be said for a dimly lit desk rather than the all-encompassing narcissism of the public spot light.

It’s about the writing and nothing else. You write because you have to, not because you’re going to generate a following.
Don’t write to print, write because you must, and because it matters.

When all those around you are self-promoting, and yet you remain true to the craft, then my son, one day you too will be recognized as a writer.

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One Response to “IN VINO VERITAS”

  1. Michael Bradley December 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    For me I write because of my love of it. I don’t plan to ever make money from it. I promote mainly so that others will know it exists. I would rather lose money on marketing and have 10,000 readers than to make ten thousand dollars and have only two readers. I wish I could be fulfilled by the art of writing itself, but to me it comes from bringing joy to the reader. I met my first true fan at a book signing two weeks ago, and I will never forget it. A man I had never met walked up to me, told me he had bought my book online and really enjoyed it. He wanted a signed copy of the printed one to put on his shelf and he bought one for his daughter. That one man alone will keep me going for another a year.

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