Friday, February 26, 2010


The idea of the importance of a "community of writers" is a myth started by MFA programs to help justify their existence.

Writers should probably work alone without a lot of quasi-friend/hangers-on back-patting them into an unrealistic sense of self importance.

Writers in groups begin to sound like each other, mimicking what works for others ("works" meaning getting published in obscure magazines that nobody reads)

"All writing fails." (That's not me, that's Faulkner)

I mean, if a guy like Faulkner felt like his writing failed, then it seems a little silly for writers to pop into the blogs of fellow writers to tell them how fantastic their work is. It's delusional, really.

Hemingway was in Faulkner's town once. He called Faulkner up and said, "I'm in your town, and I'm drunk." Faulkner said, "Me, too," and then hung up. Hemingway, in his clumsy way, had invited Faulkner to join him in a community. Faulkner made the good choice.

My father once said that there are no statesmen anymore, only politicians.

Playing off that, I'll say that I don't think there are writers anymore, only creative writers. That ain't good. Creative writers seem to behave in many ways like politicians. Really. It's true.

This cynicism will end soon, don't worry. My new book, Threatened Species and Other Stories, comes out soon from Whistling Shade Press. After that, all of my blog posts will be rosy, positive, and sales-oriented. This post will probably be deleted. (at least I'm being honest about all of this)


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