That was the sentence my father sent hurtling toward me during my phone call to him to wish him a happy Father’s Day. I was telling him some of the things that have happened with SmokeLong, and some of the things we have in the works. And, if I hadn’t been so angry and defensive, I’d have liked to have told him, “That’s not the point.” Because it’s not. After that conversation, I opened up the topic in one of the offices over on Zoetrope. Many, many writers I admire deeply weighed in on just what the point of it all is. Some time soon, I may go into what the point actually is (at least as several writers see it, myself included). But one of the things that was posted really reverberated with me. Myfanwy Collins had clipped a posting by Kathy Fish from some time ago. It’s a quote from an article by Duncan Murrell, a former acquisitions editor at Algonquin. (That may seem like a lot of tossing of names around, but there’s a reason for it that’s integral to what I think the point is (and no, the point isn’t name-dropping).)
The quote that Myf posted is from this article at Poets & Writers. Further googling of Mr. Murrell turned up this conversation between him and Maud Newton on her blog.
I strongly recommend reading both of these. Not only do I agree with Mr. Murrell, I also find it encouraging to see such opinions espoused by someone from within the industry. In particular, lemme point to this quote:
If you write something that only you could write, and you write it well, I believe your work will be found. I came out of my experience in publishing believing in that even more than I believed in it when I began. I witnessed or experienced many of the awful, crass aspects of publishing, and yet I also remember those sweet moments when everything came together for someone deserving, one of those people who had worked for an unfathomable amount of time by themselves on a book they would not compromise, that they would rather have destroyed in the burn barrel than turn into a pack of marketable lies.