There was a time when it meant something to be a writer ….

13 Jul

… not the kind you find now, the ones who author serials; trilogies; cycles; ones who churn out books with other authors; ones who self-publish, etc. There are so many of them that one would have difficulty knowing who they are.

Every day I come across an author whom I’ve never even heard of. I’ve tried reading some of these newbies, tried being the operative word. Although, I must admit that a handful were/are five-star performers, but for the most part ……… well, that’s just it isn’t it? “… the most part”. There isn’t one.

Cookie-cutter books all in a row.

I find it difficult to believe that I’m the only one who’s noticed that we’re drowning in a pool of mass-market publication. What happened to the great writers who were actually great writers? The struggling masses? The ones who lived what they wrote? The ones who lived what they loved? Nowadays, it’s only about one thing. M.o.n.e.y. What a crying shame.

Jack London (1876-1916); Truman Capote (1924-1984); *Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953); Beatrix Potter (1866-1943); Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961); Isak Dinesen (1885-1962); Charles Dickens (1812-1870); Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) ………

 Oh, and did I point out:

 F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940); Virginia Woolf (1882-1941); Mark Twain (1835-1910); Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849); Robert Heinlein (1907-1988); Hermann Hess (1877-1962): John Edward Williams (1922-1994)

I’ve only mentioned a few here, and as you see they are all from the 19th and 20th centuries. Keeping in mind that I said great writers who live what they write, you’d be hard-pressed not to agree that 21st century writers are a dime a dozen. Only a handful live inside the words, and those have yet to tell the tale.

There was a time when it meant something to be a writer. Nowadays, anyone can be an author, but a writer? Well now, that’s another story  ————

*Marjorie Rawlings chose to live in the remote backwater swampland known as Cross Creek, Florida. It is in the screened-in porch of her home there that she wrote The Yearling, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Her books were a part of how she lived, and how she lived was a part of her books.



“Cross Creek belongs to the wind, and the rain, the sun and seasons, to the secrecy of seed and beyond all, to time.”


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