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.