Apr 20, 2015

Encouragement Gone Wrong

New writers are often told that they can write a novel; it's easy. Does this leave the wrong impression? If storytelling is an art form--like music or dance or fine art--that should imply years of training and practice. Do you believe that writing a great novel is easier than painting a masterpiece, or composing a concerto?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your arguments are identical to those decrying the pedestrianization of music composition through self composition, production and publication.

I believe what you are missing is the commercial aspect of any creative industry. That dynamic serves, among other things, to form a feedback loop that effectively prevents newcomers from seeking the sort of feedback and criticism you posit. One only needs to look at the examples of well regarded authors, musicians and artists who have submitted their work to "the industry" under pseudonyms as a way to prove the closed nature of publishing/editing/agency/production.

Or to put it more concisely, self publication has allowed for more variety and less de facto censorship. That variety includes a wide range of subjective quality. And for that, I am thankful and choose to celebrate. I am able to publish my music and receive a variety, in all it's uncensored glory, of feedback, which allows me to improve my music. Twenty years ago, I had no choice other than to grovel before the industry, begging for the grace of even a reply, only to hear that my music needed to be more "popular."