Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Work of Serious Writers

Writers write.  That is what we do.  We may not publish; we may not sell, but we write all the same.  A committed writer, like other committed craftsmen or women, has a vested interest in maintaining the integrity, precision and truth of the craft.  When we meet we speak of quality, of story lines, character development and the use of the language to make a serious contribution to the lexicon.

Recently I have met with a small group of people who seem to have confused the art and craft of writing with street peddling or carnival barking.  I have met their ilk before.  Most writers have had the misfortune to be trapped in a meeting room or lecture hall with people who insist that the writing, the work, the quality of the craftsmanship is irrelevant because a professionally designed and snappy cover is what the reader wants to see.  A slick one liner or tight, yet empty, blurb will draw the reader in because they haven't the time or intellect to think much about what they read.

Well if this were true there wouldn't be much point in the serious work of writers.  However, I don't think it is true.  I don't believe that literate people have to be tantalized like children or seduced like hormone soaked adolescence with sugar and trickery.

There is no doubt that marketing plays a part in selling books.  Accordingly I submit, indeed I insist, that the foundation of a good marketing strategy is an excellent, well written, beautifully crafted book. Flummery is not the work of serious writers, and is best left to professional peddlers.


  1. The tinkeling sound of ice pellets
    Hitting my bedroom window
    Occasional gusts of wind
    Howl through the trees

    I close me eyes and envision
    The Aesir ride to battle
    Freya leads moist air from the South
    The Frost Giants descend from the North

    Helplessly we await
    They battle overhead
    And here below in Midgard
    The blizzard has begun

    Surrounded by the smell of damp wool
    I step outside into the white darkness
    The snow is crisp and beginning to drift
    But it's not particularly cold

    I love the sounds of the storm
    Everything is hushed
    Only the wind , my footsteps silent
    an occasional tree branch cracking

    The wood pile is a white dragon
    With rounded scales
    My guardian and friend
    Long hours building , many years ago

    An armload to the basement
    Stir the coals to shake down the ash
    The chore is quickly done
    And back out into the drifting snow

    My tracks in are almost erased
    Left a mere five minutes ago
    So I know the snow is falling fast
    And the storm is just beginning.

    1. Stunning my friend. What a lovely piece of work. Thank you.