On Following the Trends

19 May

I’ve been feeling really crappy this week. My doctors have been tinkering with meds to try to get my blood pressure under control, and the side effects of the meds have knocked me for a huge loop. Which is my way of apologizing for this being a day later than it should be. AND is the best way I can think of to start this entry!
I’ve been reading magazines (writing ones, primarily) and Facebook posts quite a bit this week. Both meant I didn’t have to think. Both made me think, there’s irony in that, I think.
People pay a great deal of attention to what people say about the kinds of things they are writing. I have. For years I’ve looked at the fact that poetry really doesn’t sell so well unless you are a famous poet. But if they don’t sell, how do you get to be a famous poet? If people aren’t buying what I am writing, why is what I’m writing relevant and why do I see the kind of things that I’m writing in print? That seems to be the ultimate catch 22 conundrum.
I read an article in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest that speaks a great deal to this. No Reservations, in the inkwell column, suggests that, despite the fact that people seem to claim that memoir as a genre is a cheap overused hack of a writing venue. But it also points out that people are making money with it and is a great way to break into the writing life as a paid writer, often a well-paid writer.
Hot on the tail of that article, I read a post by Christine Schwab on Facebook that the publishing industry is in a state of flux (go figure, most of my attention right now is focused on being able to publish epub-mobi-ibook format to get my words out) but that the fact that it is in flux shouldn’t keep writers from writing and shouldn’t discourage any of us. Her quote seems to sum it up pretty well…
“it has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things come to them. They went out and happened to things”
-Leonardo da Vinci
This gave me great hope, this week, because what I’m currently playing with is a series of memoir kind of books, or maybe more to the point fiction based to a great extent on reality, a book with my son that is directly memoir, and my poetry. Maybe there will be a market for my work. Maybe not, but I’m certainly not going to let that doubt stop me.
AND you, dear writer/reader, should not let it stop you. Don’t kill your darlings. Follow your heart, chase your dreams, and maybe think about writing out your deepest darkest secrets or your biggest ugliest pet peeves and see if there might just be a market for your words. You can’t be the only one, and don’t we all, secretly, like to eavesdrop on other people’s lives? I’m not kidding myself that I will make ten thousand dollars (but I might, and why not take that chance), but maybe I can do something better, touch just one person who needed to be touched and leave a small mark on eternity.
Okay, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!!!

5 Responses to “On Following the Trends”

  1. Lorna's Voice May 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    My only experience is with the memoir. I don’t know what people have against them (except for the few that were exposed as fiction). A well crafted memoir can be enchanting and inspiring since it is really more about the reader than it is about the writer.

    Good luck on your projects and with those meds! 😉

    • alicorndreams May 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

      It’s funny, I’ve published non fiction (geek books) and even those somehow end up being memoirs for me in one way or another. And isn’t what we really do, or what we are say we do maybe, writing for the reader?

      And thank you. The meds will come. They always do. It’s all a part of the adventure.

    • Lorna's Voice May 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      I’ve read a few books where I felt that the writer was totally absorbed in writing for him or herself. I was inconsequential. Mostly those authors an book were deemed “must reads” by some literary authority. I found them thoroughly elitist and frustrating. And they were supposed to be the cream of the crop. 😐

    • alicorndreams May 19, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

      Makes you wonder if the people who made the must read list had a vested interest in having them read! 🙂


  1. This week’s selection of blog posts, articles, videos, and words of wisdom … | Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing - May 21, 2013

    […] Writing From The Writing Corp: On Following the Trends From Notes From the Perilous Realm by Thomas Wharton: […]

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