Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No Respect

Have you ever had one of those days or weeks or months or years when you got no respect as a writer? You’re not alone.

Here is a section from Walking on Water, which is Madeleine L’Engle’s book on writing.

There’s another New Yorker cartoon that shows a woman opening the door of her house to a friend. We look through the door, and in the back of the house a man is writing at a typewriter, with a large manuscript piled on the desk beside him. The friend asks, “Has your husband found a job yet? Or is he still writing?”

            A successful businesswoman had the temerity to ask me about my royalties, just at the time when my books were at last making reasonable earnings. When told, she was duly impressed, and remarked, “And to think, most people would have had to work so hard for that.” I choked over my tea, not wanting to laugh in her face.

            A young friend of mine was asked what she did, and when she replied that she was a poet, the inquirer responded, amused, “Oh, I didn’t mean your hobby.”

And here is a quote from Poppy L. Brite:

It has always seemed to me that if you have a hope of making a living as an artist—writer, musician, whatever—you absolutely must learn to tell people to leave you alone, and to mean it, and to eject them from your life if they don’t respect that. This is necessary not because your job is more important than anyone else’s—it isn’t—but because a great many people will think of you as not having a job.

So don’t be discouraged. Even well-known writers have days or weeks or months or years when they get no respect.

But they keep on writing, and so should you.

No comments:

Post a Comment