Things I Don’t Understand

That’s probably not a good blog post title, because there are a million things I don’t understand. Let’s narrow this topic down to books, writing, and authors.

By the way, I use writers more than authors. The word authors sounds pretentious to me. Like someone in a silk blouse with a limp bow declaring, “I am an auteur,” in a haughty voice. Well, la di da.

Anyway, back to the topic. Amazon sent me a recommendation for a book to read the other day. It was a book on writing by a woman who had only written one book – the book on writing. Okay. She had never written a novel, but she knew all about how NOT to do it. Sometimes, the perspective from an outsider looking in is a good one and can yield some insightful recommendations. However, in my humble opinion, writing is different. It’s like someone on the ground telling a trapeze artist how to feel for the wire and how to anticipate his partner. You kinda/sorta have to have walked a little in the moccasins of a writer in order to understand the process.

The other day I happened onto an essay written by a woman who wanted to tell all her fellow authors that she was, well, better than they were. She had a more literary mind. Her prose was superlative because it harkened back to the giants of yesteryear. She had schooled herself to appreciate the finer points of language and the classics. She knew form and function.

She had written one book.

In case you were wondering – they were two separate people. Writers who are evidently above the fray. All of us other hoi polloi writers, down in the trenches, can’t compare.

Rolling my eyes, shaking my head, while muttering two words under my breath (and they aren’t happy birthday). 🙂

4 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Understand”

  1. Someone, ages ago, explained to me that writers write but authors are those who get paid for what they write. I asked “What about those who get paid for magazine articles and
    scholastic papers?” He had no answer. What do you think?

  2. Having tried writing (before grandchildren) i have up most respect for writers. It’s hard work and takes dedication. I much prefer reading good books namely yours and encouraging my many grandchildren to read. It’s lovely to introduce them to good stories young and b there as they graduate to more mature books. Right now all 6 girls are in the young adult stage

  3. In another life, I was a feature writer for small town newspapers. I reckon I was just a plain ol’ person doing the best I could.

    If I were completely honest, I would admit there are certain authors who are considered to be giants in their field. To me they could have been scarecrows standing in their fields. I am not a fan of certain authors who shall remain nameless.

    It is as though they are more interested in their own voices than conveying ideas to their readers. But, hey, I am neither an “author” nor someone who understands why there are so many books out there which are supposed to be art, that only sell 10 copies.

    Romance is 30% of all book sales, but you do not see much about how talented or impressive those romance authors are. So, I guess, selling books is just not as important as being a giant in your field.

    Sorry, but yes, I have seen those articles and books and lectures by people who are going to explain what someone else is doing wrong and why they (the lecturer) can tell what should be done.

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