Is it possible for some people to just do writing for fun?
Molly McKitterick at The Word Process explores that question in a post today, while relating that her daughter is taking a post-grad class in creative nonfiction.
We would so much rather she be studying engineering or plumbing or animal husbandry -- something with the letters j-o-b appended, she says.
Her daughter says she is studying writing because she might need it in her to-be-determined career, or for blogging or another form of writing for herself -- but at least she doesn't say that she is going to write the great American book of 21st-century essays, get it published, become famous and live in luxury on the royalties. Whew! That is what we really didn't want to hear, McKitterick writes.
But she notes that a client of her manuscript editing services business decided to give up writing because she wasn't any good at it and would not write a bestseller.
While painters and other artistic types do what they do because they love it and it brings them pleasure, writers are more tightly wound, McKitterick points out.
What is it about writing as an activity that lends itself to so much fantasy? And why can't we just do it because it gives us pleasure and surprises us? she asks, concluding that she is cautiously proud of her daughter. We hope she can hang on to the joy and self-learning that come from writing without making it more than it is.
Still, words can move the world -- or at least parts of it -- and with that in mind, we turn now to Meghan Cox Gurdon, who has written a follow-up essay in The Wall Street Journal, after the storm caused by the last one, titled My 'Reprehensible' Take on Teen Literature.
At So many books, so little time, April Henry says that Cox Gurdon now seems to see herself as some kind of martyr -- and her sworn enemies as librarians.
She focuses on one statement by Cox Gurdon in particular: The larger question is whether books about rape, incest, eating disorders and 'cutting' (self-mutilation) help to normalize such behaviors for the vast majority of children who are merely living through the routine ordeals of adolescence.
Okay, so teens reading about rape or incest are now going to be taking part? Exactly how does that work? Henry responds. As far as I know, you're a victim of rape or incest when you're a kid. Is she saying they are going to be inviting abuse?
On to reading -- and Jenni Elyse, who has posted her top 10 list of bookish websites. Number 3, surprisingly, is Twitter.
I know people don't normally categorize Twitter as a bookish website, but I go there every day and it's so I can interact with book bloggers and authors, she explains.
Here are some more quick hits from the books blogosphere today:
? David Marshall has a critical review of For Heaven's Eyes Only, by Simon R. Green.
? Book Rat does a Q&A with Mitzi Szereto, the author of Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts. Says Szereto, I was extremely conscious at all times to write in the voice of Jane Austen. I wanted Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts to be seamless, with nothing marring the Austen feel and story-telling style or, I should add, her use of language.
? April at Good Books and Good Wine has a positive review of the audiobook version of Tina Fey's Bossypants.
? Deepali at e-Volving Books recommends Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA, by Peter Robinson.
Good advice for someone considering an MBA, even though the edition is old and dated. Most of the material will still be very similar, and the structure of the MBA is exactly as described, she says. The writing flows well and is easy to read -- a pleasure!
? And finally, Evie J. at Peace, Love & Books says her jaw hit the floor when she went to the bookstore with her mom recently and saw the price of a couple of adult books that she bought.
A skinny paperback was only a couple dollars less than a YA hardback. Are you kidding me? I don't understand, Evie says.
She provides several kidding reasons why adult literature costs so much more than YA books -- but says none of them make any sense.
Edward B. Colby is the Books editor of the International Business Times.
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