Lady Rhoda Birley, by Valerie Finnis
Post script to yesterday’s post: whenever I feel like writing, I hoof it to my computer. Or my notebook, or the back of a napkin.
I’m not sure I communicated this yesterday. I didn’t mean I’ve given up the dream of writing. That’s not a dream. That’s a reality. I meant, there are more ways to be a writer than to wear the black turtleneck.
I did publish a few small things, and I was happy about those. But, as I wrote to a reader yesterday, the American publishing scene became discouraging. In my estimation, much excellent, fine writing can’t get published—or ends up on the Costco sale table within a month of coming out. Fiction that sells often tells a decent story but is not well crafted. I’m a better sentence crafter than teller of major stories, and I needed to learn that.
It’s like this. How hard would you work for a cheesecake? Maybe pretty hard. But what if you never got it, after years of work? If there was a coconut cream pie with your name on it somewhere, would you consider going that direction? It’s a matter of finding one’s place in the world.
Finally, Tara at dollcannotfly raised this question: what’s a real artist? In her case she was talking about actors. Is it the one who says two lines and gets paid a small fortune? The one who works her hiney off for years, performing without pay?
Who’s the real actor, artist, writer? And who gets to decide?