Saturday, August 27, 2011

Writer Responsibility

I have been thinking about the role a writer has in respect to the reader. What is reasonable in that relationship? I read JA Konrath, who often states that his goal is to help other writers by providing information, mostly of a business nature. He certainly helps, but sometimes I feel his help is far too specific. He has an agenda and a vision for himself that he sees as the only logical path to success for everyone.
Konrath's focus on the business side is in a narrow (but widening) area of writing: e-books. (Yes, e-books are the future, but far from the only game in town in the present.) His advice has been helpful to be sure, yet I often feel unsettled after reading his blog, like little shadow doubt-devils are capering just behind my eyeballs. I ask why and so far, I have no answer that makes those doubt-devils explainable. Or go away.

I felt yesterday closer to an answer when I read Karen Woodward, who had a simple idea for her 200th blog post. She asked her readers if they remembered the first story they wrote. So I thought back and it was amazing how the process lifted my mental funk. I didn't think about business, sales or getting readers. I thought about being a writer. I thought of the joy of having the ability to craft a tale from my mind. The fun of writing is the act of writing, the language, the twists in the stories that only the subconscious knows.

I liked being a writer yesterday. I'll leave the business for tomorrow.


Sabine A. Reed said...

Nice blog. I also follow Konrath, and agree with your point of view. He has his points, and his heart is in the right place. I liked the fact that he is helping other writers, but at the same time, it's nice to just enjoy being a writer at times.

Mt Nickerson said...

Thanks for the comment, Sabine. I like a little agitation with my reading, otherwise, what is the point and Konrath often provides the agitation (especially annoying when he is right so often!) But it is nice to forget business on occassion and just love the hell out of writing just because.

Karen Woodward said...

Hi Michael! I'm thrilled you liked my post. I came across it when I searched for my name (I know, how vain!) on

MT Nickerson said...

Actually Karen, you were my first official Pick Of the Week in a blog post about three weeks ago. I enjoy your blog a great deal and look forward to reading what you have to say. Keep it up.