April 26, 2012

That's Why I Write

I'm reading an article in The Writer's Chronicle - it's an interview with Bonnie Jo Campbell who has won many awards for her writing and has written two novels, the latest of which has "received rave reviews" according to the article. I haven't yet read her work (I will) but am always happy for another writer's success. Mostly she's very humble in her responses but at one point she says, "...when a book receives a lot of attention it can be unsettling, even when most of the attention is praise, because something that used to private...is now public and open to scrutiny." And all I have to say is three words: Oh, shut up.
I'm sure Bonnie's a very nice person but really, isn't that why you write - so the public will read your words? Open to scrutiny? Great! Your work is now public? Hooray!
I know there will be people who'll read my book and say, "I write better than this - how the hell did she get published?" but there will be others who will relate to the characters and find some meaning in the story. It's all good. If Bonnie Jo Campbell doesn't want the attention or scrutiny then give it to me! I'll take it all; good, bad, indifferent, praising, slamming...
If my book receives a lot of attention will I be unsettled? Yes...with exultation! Unsettle me. THAT'S why I write.

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