Writers and self-torture

I’m late to the table with this one, but Lynn Coady says writers enjoy torturing themselves with articles like the Midlist Author’s Lament that appeared in Salon last week. She’s backed up by the guys behind Bookninja, one of my favorite book blogs:

Run by poet George Murray and novelist Peter Darbyshire, Bookninja offers up a clearinghouse of lit-links, often the kind of stories (massive advances to single-brain-celled rock stars) that get many an author contemplating life in retail.

“I find these kinds of things endlessly fascinating,” confesses Murray. “Particularly for the peek into the tortured world of another.” Whenever he feels things are at their worst, Murray admits, “the pain of others works like a charm or a tonic.”

“Every writer thinks they’re a fraud,” adds Darbyshire. “When writers see someone else having similar problems or at least struggling with success, they are free to think, ‘Ah, it’s not just me. It’s the whole system, or our vapid culture, or the corrupt business, or whatever.’ “


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