Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Writing for the right reasons, and the wrong ones

I'm going to be honest here: I'd rather work on my OWN crappy writing than someone else's crappy writing. Mainly because they never appreciate it. I have no illusions -- I know my writing isn't perfect and never will be.

However, some people who haven't written anything since high school and who don't give a whit about books or literature think they're going to pick up a pen and turn out the next bestseller. They can't be bothered to read, but they somehow believe that they are Next Big Thing.

The worst part? They'll tell you how great they are and how their work overshadows that of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Yeah...highly unlikely. And even if you *think* that, it's gauche to tell other people.

Unlike many others who believe they're above everyone else, I'm well aware that there's always room for improvement, no matter who you are. Although I've been a professional writer for 18 years and had hundreds of short pieces and articles published and several books published (through traditional publishers, mind you), I will NEVER get to the point where I think my crap doesn't stink. I will also never proclaim to know every single thing about writing. I don't. Nobody does! Not even famous authors. Writing is about the journey, NOT the destination. It's about learning and discovery.

A writer writes. However, there's a difference between a person who would write even if they were a millionaire (because they are DRIVEN to) and a person who doesn't give a shit about the craft and beauty of writing. Such a person only wants to try and earn a bunch of money from throwing their book up on Kindle or Smashwords for the sole purpose of cash. They couldn't care less about readers or anything else. These people know nothing about the publishing industry and are only writing in hopes of making a quick buck. It's obscene and distasteful, at least to me.

So yeah, I prefer to work on my own writing -- even when it's crappy and isn't the best thing in the world. The time is much better spent than dealing with thankless jerks who don't care anything about writing or literature. Hey, they know everything anyway, so let them have at it while the rest of us spend time working on our stuff. The rest of us have lots to learn, and we aren't afraid to admit it. Oh, and shove them a piece of humble pie before you shut the door in their faces. Goodness knows they need it.