Nick Mamatas (who wrote Sensation, one of my favorite books I read this year), is really smart. He blogs and writes a lot about writing (I haven’t read Starve Better yet, but it’s on the list as they say), and a few days ago, responding in part to one of the usual kerfuffles over genre vs. literary writing, he said something that (seriously) moved me:
Anyway—here’s a secret. This is what creative writers should be interested in doing. Writing their own best material. Not the most popular thing, or the most acclaimed, or that which will be part of some conversation or leave a mark on this or that genre (including bourgeois realism), but that stuff that is unique to yourself and the complex of life experiences and interests and prior readings and environmental factors of which your writing is an emergent property. Writing is orthogonal to publishing and marketing. It’s also orthogonal to true mass culture. Mass culture only deals with aspects of writing—those aspects that can be reproduced according to the needs of either artisan creation or industrial manufacture. That, being the mass, is what an individual cannot control.
Happy Monday! Let’s all go be productive.
ETA: worst blog post title ever? Mayyyybe!