The other day, I and a group (writers and non-writers) of friends and associates had a highly charged discussion about a simple question I posed to everyone:
If you were granted one wish by the literary fairy godmother to advance your writing career, which would you choose?
A) Be granted all the readers I wanted no matter how or what I wrote.
B) Be granted the talent to write a phenomenal book
The choice, along with the explanation as to why they chose it, was interesting to say the least.
One woman (a non-writer) chose option A and received a few raised brows. She backed up her choice by stating that she, “was about the money and readers brought in revenue.”
Another person counteracted her choice by pointing out, “you bring dirt in the house if you walk through it outside.” We weren’t quite sure where she was going with that analogy, but it kind of, sort of made sense at the time. Still the Option A woman, stood her ground and added, “Look at the Fifty Shades of Grey author.”
As you might imagine the intensity in the air rose a tad higher, after the “oohs and ahhhs,” followed by the pros and cons of the now notorious book.
After the dust settled, (somewhat) someone else (a dabbler in writing) chose, Option B stating that they rather be known for writing a good book than for garbage, even if only five people read it. “It’s about quality, not quantity.” They went on to say that if only five people read their book, those five would have something meaningful etched on their brain, and that would be okay with them.
Author Chinua Achebe’s book, “Things Fall Apart,” was their justification. The book started out with little following or readership after it was published, and is now required reading by many English professors.
That was the discussion more or less, with a lot of debating in between. (It would be a long blog if I retold it in its entirety.)
But I wanted to toss it out there on this rainy (where I am) Thursday. Any thoughts?
Oh, and be wary if your fairy godmother is the one from “Shrek 2.” Your wish may be subject to a little underhandedness. 😉