A Writer’s Lament: The Better You Write, the More You Will Fail - NY Times

A poignant article of writing and writers …

A Writer’s Lament: The Better You Write, the More You Will Fail

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I’m not familiar with the Times pay wall … I have a subscription, so it is not an issue. One thought is that the Times does allow for non-subscribers to read articles one can read, but somehow they limit the number of articles, perhaps from a particular IP address … I don’t know … not trying to sell subscriptions, just thought others might relate to what the writer, Stephen Marche, had to say, particularly as a non-writer-trying-to fake-it-as-a-writer!

I’ll peek around a bit to see if there is a way to enable the Times allowance for reading articles using a few different VPN IP’s … but that’s the limit of what my little brain can come up with at the moment …

Apologies …
scrive
:thinking:

Don’t
. . . . . . . . . . . . .

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This ususually works: How Failure Defines the Writing Life - The New York Times

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Don’t worry about it.

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I often forget about the Archive.org … thank you for the reminder … I’ll keep that one for future reference … better than any workaround I could have come up with …

scrive
:thinking:

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For what it is worth, I was particularly taken by the 4th and 5th paragraphs … e.g. “… we’re living in an aftermath.”, and “The boomers’ writing lives were exceptions.”

… the times they are a changing!

Fortunately, we have tools that our fore-writers could only have imagined!

scrive,
:thinking:

I’m not sure if I can make the connection. If we have the better tools, why are the good old times over?

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Good point …

The “good old times over” is Stephen Marche’s sentiment. But as someone trying to write as a complete new-comer (and little to no knowledge of the history) to the craft, I thought it was an interesting viewpoint of how the craft as changed over time.

I’m not trying to write a best seller of prose, far from it. But the technology has allowed me to at least make an attempt to communicate a few written words. The British and American thesaurus has become a best friend.

I guess it raises the question: Has recent technology improved the lot for today’s writers, and if so how?

I have no idea if my writing will ever see the light of day, but there is no question that without the technology, it’s unlikely I’d ever have started (and much less likely to have continued) on this journey. For me, technology allowed me, someone with a clear deficit for words, to place one word after the other to at least begin, then proceed.

Whether I succeed in communicating a few thoughts is a whole 'nother story.

If nothing else, given the advantages that technology may now allow, I’ve developed an appreciation for the challenges faced by the Joyces of the past.

scrive
:thinking:

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When did this “recent” start? Personal computers / word processors? The Internet? Smartphones? AI tools? (E-books, self-publishing, Amazon…)

It appears there was never a better (easier) time to research, write and publish, without even having to leave the house, and almost for free.

But is it possible that writing became too easy? It used to be a lot of (manual) work back in the day. Which would sift out a lot of the less motivated authors beforehand. And then they had to convince a publisher. And a paying audience that was less distracted (e.g. by video games).

In short: Is it easier today to make a living from one’s writing or was it “back then”? I don’t know the answer. But I’m sure we never heard of all the unsuccessful writers, because Reddit wasn’t invented yet.

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Such good questions … will the supply of new writers outstrip the demand for their work?

A few decades ago, the subject matter that currently holds my attention consisted of barely a few words of what was to come. Few paid any attention, and even fewer were willing to publish the details, and even fewer were willing to pay to read those words … how the world has changed!

Increasingly, we are becoming more and more the masters of our own collective fate. Increasingly, we need the communicate what ideas will be required to address that state of affairs. That need is growing exponentially.

The only questions I have is who will be the communicators, and how will that communication occur? Two questions for which I do not have answers.

So I use what tools I have access to and write what I can, as carefully as I can with the time I have left … to hopefully communicate the ideas I hope may come in handy for those who will follow.

What is almost unimaginable for me is how the Joyces et al. before me were able to live their lives in a world without the advantages I often take for granted today, and still write so beautifully and deftly so as to capture our imaginations centuries later. Wow!

scrive
:thinking:

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