Writing vs. getting a book deal

Borders' selection of Salman Rushdie

I did hardly any writing today, so to atone I'm blogging another writing-related link instead. After this morning's "Writers' Rooms", I got home to find a New York Times article from James: "Typing Without a Clue", by Timothy Egan.

Egan's point:
Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.
I was in Kinokuniya today (before I read this article) and marvelling at the number of completely inconsequential books that get not only published but shipped all the way to Singapore. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the system's hit a point where I can finally get my hands on the full oeuvre of Margaret Atwood or the new paperback edition of The Lost: A Search for Six of the Six Million without having to place a special order. But I wish that didn't also mean that Twilight gets touted all over the place.



At 12/08/2008 7:24 pm , Blogger Dot said...

I read that article too. And what a world we live in! You have a book coming out! That must be such an awesome feeling. You need to autograph for me :)

At 12/11/2008 7:41 am , Blogger tscd said...

Are you a big fan of Atwood? I've only read 'A Handmaid's Tale'. I want to read 'The Blind Assassin' but the cover kinda puts me off.

At 12/11/2008 8:03 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Twilight is an awful book but my students like it and, worse, people whom I thought were smart and discerning like it too.

At 12/11/2008 8:53 am , Blogger Tym said...

Dot > You're the first to ask! So of course, yes lah.

tscd > I am a huge Atwood fan. I really enjoyed The Blind Assassin (which cover do dislike?), and The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye are old favourites of mine too.

piper > I dragged a friend up to the Twilight display in Kinokuniya and had a good laugh reading aloud random snippets from the book --- though the writing was so awful I couldn't keep up the reading aloud part for more than a couple of lines at a time.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]