“Client’s disease”

January 29, 2010

My buddy Lauren over at BiblioBuffet sent me a link to a fabulous blog post [thanks, toots!], and I could kiss her square on the lips. I said I could, I didn’t say I would.

This blog post will never be mistaken for zen.calm. It’s a kick in the pants reality check that discusses the realities of writing, which is…

No one wants to read your shit.

Now I didn’t say that, author Steven Pressfield said it. And you know what? He’s right. But he isn’t saying it the way you think. What Steven is saying is that just because you love your story doesn’t mean everyone wants to drop everything, put their lives on hold just so they can read your brilliant collections of verbs and nouns.

I encounter this a lot. I read pages and wonder if the authors ever considered that just because they love their writing others will as well.  Steven calls it Client’s Disease, and he hits the nail on the head. The marketplace, in general, doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about the new thang on the block.

It’s not because the marketplace is filled with creeps who live to crush authors’ hearts. Heck, that’s our job. The marketplace has a bajillion choices placed before them, and there is no reason why they should care about you. It’s your job to make them care.

Steven writes:

When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated. You begin to understand that writing/reading is, above all, a transaction. The reader donates his time and attention, which are supremely valuable commodities. In return, you the writer, must give him something worthy of his gift to you.

This means that it’s the author’s job to constantly ask:

“Am I boring my reader?”

Steven, most importantly, demands that the writer jump outside of his own ego because it’s the readers who make the author successful. Not the other way around.

Go. Read. Learn.

That is all.


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