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Why It’s Good When People Hate Your Book

March 5, 2010

JM Tohline recently had a good point about why writers shouldn’t sell themselves short simply to appease a large audience. He promotes honesty, and asks that writers “Let Their Writing Speak For Itself.”

I agree, and here’s my take on why we do the crazy things we do: when we writers try to sell ourselves, it’s only because we want to be loved. It’s not a healthy attitude, but I admit I’ve found myself  that desperate, and sometimes as I type out these words I know that the only reason I’ve bothered posting on this blog is because I know it will serve useful in establishing an author platform” (she says with pretentious inflection). And see, I admitted that because I’m trying out this whole honesty thing. So maybe I’m ashamed, but now I’ve been purged.

Basically what I’m saying is, don’t try to target a certain market, write your book a certain way, or sell your body on the cheap because you want to appeal to every-single-person-in-the-entire-world. Accept the fact that not everyone is going to love your writing, even the theoretical brilliance lying complacently in your desk drawer. I’ve always felt that art should incite emotion, and that something that incites happiness is just as good as something that incites anger–it made you think, it made you act. Therefore, the fact that someone disliked your book means that someone cared enough to take the time to dislike your book, and that therefore your work was distinct (unless they hated it cause you plagiarized the whole thing, b/c that would kind of disprove my point).

Moral: write something that someone would hate. It’s the best and only way to write something that someone would love.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2010 7:25 pm

    Be honest. Then you can defend what you’ve written. Good post.

  2. March 5, 2010 11:10 pm

    Very insightful. Very true.

    Good words.

  3. March 6, 2010 12:06 am

    Hi, I just stumbled into your blog. I really love this post; it really comes at a good time for me 🙂

  4. March 6, 2010 9:54 am

    I’m so glad I could be of service! Thanks to JM Tohline for giving me the inspiration for this one.

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