On Writers’ Heroism and Humiliation

Another Vicious Cycle

In his latest dispatch from the road, writer Jesús Ángel Garcia informs us that writing takes courage. Beyond the terrifying confrontation with the blank page, there’s the ceaseless struggle for publication: “…submission, rejection, submission, rejection, submission… acceptance! Rinse (drink), repeat.” Not to mention the bravery it takes to go on tour, peddling your printed soul before crowds of curious readers (if you’re lucky). And then there are those who, like Garcia, can heroically sidle onto the stage after a rock band brings down the house.

Does This Interview Make Me Look Fat?

Over at The Guardian, in her latest column, novelist A. L. Kennedy muses on the perils of promoting her work. From treacherous interviews to dreadful photo shoots, the exposure can be paralyzing. “In fact,” Kennedy writes, “interviews have — over the years — informed me that I dress badly, look ill, have a dingy flat and illogical furniture, while creating an alternative persona for me which is mildly useful as a way of being myself in public without getting threadbare…”

What’s worse, by the time promotions roll around, she’s already shifted focus to her next book and the next round of impending humiliations.

Is This Thing On?

Hopefully making it easier on writers making a name for themselves, here’s an article about why readers should consider indie writers (and how to find them): “Moving Beyond Mainstream Books.”

And for more on the ghastly business of the business of books promotions, there’s this aptly titled piece from The Observer: “No One Cares About Your Reading.”

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— Benjamin Samuel is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. He is pursuing an MFA in Fiction at Brooklyn College.

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