Monday, May 16, 2005

Dilettantes vs. "real" authors

Over at Romancing the Blog is a rant by author Karin Gillespie in which she complains about a self-published writer's book being on the same "local author" table in a bookstore with her own--which was released by "a large New York City publisher".

What's the big deal? I wondered. Why on earth does she think his little book will have any impact on the success of hers? And her unveiled disgust for such "dilettantes" who masquerade as "real" authors promted me to comment that although I, too, am published by a large New York City house I am still an unashamed dilettante. Yes, I was tweaking her a little, but I do see myself as a dabbler rather than an artist.

Frankly, I'm not talented or educated enough to write "seriously". In my books and here on this blog, I write for the purpose of entertaining myself first and you second. I am never going to hit the NYT bestseller list. I will never win a Pulitzer. Those things are so far beyond my talents and abilities I don't even bother aspiring to them. So I'm not a serious writer, but a dilettante.

Not that I believe there's any shame in being unremarkable. I think we can celebrate our ordinariness and have a lot of fun.

Come to think of it, isn't that just a little bit remarkable?


Sharon said...

I'm with you, I have no idea what the big deal is. It seems to be more ego related than anything. Otherwise, I'm wondering why on earth it would matter to an author how another author became published.

Susan Kaye said...

Maybe she knows a few of these "dilettantes" who are doing better than expected. I have a friend who is one of these self-published sorts. She has had the surpreme pleasure of turning down Simon and Schuster. Twice.

Robin Bayne said...

I agree Brenda. One thing I really like about the CBA writers I meet-- for most it's really not about *them,* it's about writing for Him. And He will use any level/format/means of publication He chooses to get His message out--all His writers are equally valued : )

Robyn said...

I left her a comment, too. I've had so many "Someone got paid to write this?" moments with NY published books, I can't see where she's got room to be snobby.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

Ok don't shoot me but I happen to believe YOU can be on the NYT bestseller list.

But I totally understand and agree with everything you say.

I happen to think you are a remarkable dilettante!

Brenda Coulter said...

Oh, Heather, stop. ;-)

Robyn, it was immediately after I put a book down and said, "And someone got paid to write this?" that I started writing. So I have a soft spot in my heart for "bad" books. ;-)

Kate R said...

amen! and when you and I agree, then we're talking an Absolute Truth.

Not to mention if she's getting her sense of professional self-worth from hooking up with a particular publisher then there's something wrong with the picture.

Brenda Coulter said...

Kate, darlin', you crack me up. I thought you didn't believe in absolute truths? ;-)