|Photo Credit – Alex Dunn – August 2012
Someone loves glaciers. In fact – anything we can see, feel, touch, hear, sense or imagine – is loved by someone in the world. And yet there are those who don’t and won’t love a glacier.
— A glacier is not everyone’s idea of beauty or mystery. Some simply see it as cold or desolate and uninviting. Others see its danger and fear the possibilities.
And so it is true for books and authors. If you read (and I hope you do), not every book is meant for you. And if you are a writer, your audience will likely be a small group of readers. In fact, writers probably should write – first and foremost – for themselves. I suspect that writers who try to write for everyone write for no one.
In light of these thoughts, I recently read Richard Goodman’s The Soul of Creative Writing. Goodman says,
“Don’t feel off or discouraged because you don’t like or understand a certain author— particularly if the author is renowned. It could be the wrong time for you to be reading this author. It could be too early. Or it simply could be that you’ll never like this author. So what? Do you like all places? Can’t you tolerate the fact that someone loves glaciers, and Germany, and you don’t? Is that any reflection on your acumen, on your sensitivity, on your values?”
|Photo Credit – Alex Dunn – Hubbard Glacier – August 2012
Goodman reminds us – as readers and as writers – to… “Stay loyal to the writers you love. Don’t disavow them because of cultural fashions or the latest politics. Don’t deny your love and enthusiasm. That’s the first step to denying your passions about your own work.”
Jan Bowman’s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, Broadkill Review, Trajectory, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes, and others. She won the 2011 Roanoke Review Prize for Fiction. Her stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories and a story was a finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories and currently shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection. She has nonfiction work pending publication in Spring 2013 Issues of Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers. Learn more at: