All Those Awful Books
An anonymous commenter on my blog Friday wrote: “I hear the data about how few authors get published. But then I read so many published books that are simply awful.” Many other blog readers have shared this perspective in the past, including a few of yesterday’s commenters.
You know what? Sometimes I turn on the TV and I’m flabbergasted at how many truly awful shows are on.
Most of the time I walk into the video store and can’t believe how many movies are in there that I would never rent.
In the music section of Borders, it’s stunning to me how much “music” they carry that just gives me a headache.
I love Nordstrom, but they have so many clothes that are completely unattractive. And they don’t even fit me.
Sometimes, I even walk into a museum and see works of art that a third-grader could have done.
What does all this mean? Absolutely nothing, except to underscore the subjectivity of every single artistic endeavor. What is pleasing to one is dreck to another.
Bottom line, my advice is to stop worrying about all those “awful books” being published. People love them and are buying them, or they wouldn’t continue to be published. Keep writing what you write, and keep trying to find your audience. Make your book the best it can be. Keep trying to find that agent who loves your work. The more you stress about other people’s awful books getting published, the less energy you’ll have to write your own books. Plus, you’ll be nurturing a negative and resentful attitude about the very publishing industry that you’re trying to break into. How smart is that?
Let’s try and keep a positive attitude. Because amidst all those bad programs on TV and all that bad music in Borders, I always manage to find something I like. There’s something for everyone. Your “something” just might be right for someone.
And don’t forget: Even when you’re published… somebody is bound to think your book is “simply awful.” Might as well get over it right now.
To each his own. Now write your own!