Publishing a book just one more thing to be miserable about?

The New York Times profiles the editor of Mortification (which I’ve recently read and plan to mention in more detail), a collection of writers’ personal essays about shame. Most of the stories center on indignities suffered by writers on book tours.

So much for the myth that publishing a book brings fulfillment. Writer Stephen Elliott said in an interview late last year:

Even though you think that by expressing yourself, enough people reading your work will give you a measure of identity, self-worth, self-knowledge and reason to live — none of that will happen. You’ll be just as miserable whether you’re published or not published: It’s just one more thing to be miserable about. But the misery doesn’t go away, even when you start accomplishing things.


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