Friday, November 20, 2009

Fast food "literature"

It's the weekend!!!!

Aren't you glad you only have one more week that you have to endure of this??? (actually 10 days, but I was trying to make you feel better).

Last Friday, Oprah featured an interview with Stephanie Meyer. I was excited to see the interview. I do not read those books, I do not watch those movies, I am not a fan of vampires in any way shape or form. BUT I am a fan of writers who are making a living at writing, and I want to hear what they have to say about it.

So, I tuned in. And then I barfed. And then I promptly jumped off my balcony and died.

I have been letting it settle for a week, because I was feeling physical hatred towards this woman last week, and I figured that was probably a bit strong.

I was hoping to hear about how she had always wanted to write, always written short stories, poems, the like, always wished she had the time to just do it. Kind of a la JK Rowling (whom I also do not read nor particularly like, but whose story I find fascinating and inspiring). But no, this is not what I heard at all. Not even a little bit. No, she had a dream, and then she wrote it down, and then she sold it. The end.

I realize that talent is something you have or don't have, and all that jazz. But speaking as someone trying to get myself going into this field, and having gone to school to learn how to hone my skills, to think critically not just creatively, and to beat a dead horse until it's fresh, this is extremely counter-intuitive, and also feels like she's telling anyone who is struggling at this, working at this, and putting in a great deal of effort that it's all been a waste of time.

Again, having NEVER read her work (nor am I planning to) I have had several people tell me it's the concept, not the writing, that has sold, and, to quote my friend Sarah "she doesn't know her ass from her elbow and writes on a level basically equivalent to a sixth grader" (paraphrased a bit at the end there). It is very discouraging that this is the kind of writing that makes millions of dollars for the author. This is the kind of writing that sells.

Then the question becomes, do you stay true to the artist in you who knows what they want to create, or do you sell out and write the easy crap that people appear to want to read so you can cash in?

Obviously I know the answer, but I'm also thinking that I could probably think of a clever pen name to fill out some financing in the meantime.

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