No Respect

A book review on Salon is most interesting for what it has to say about writers:

Norman attributes some of this animosity to the essential mystery of the writing process. To the tough, practical, working-class men who founded the movie industry, it looked suspiciously like loafing. "None of them were quite sure what a screenwriter did," he writes, "or even how he did it. Certainly he or she delivered an artifact, a screenplay, that worked or didn't, but where did it come from? ... Did it take them a year to write a screenplay, or only one day and then they waited a year to hand it in? There was no telling because nobody could see the work occur."

That's the thing about any kind of writing: It may be difficult, but it sure looks easy -- you can do it in your pj's! Until the advent of reality TV talent shows like "American Idol," most of us existed in blissful ignorance of the sheer number of completely untalented people who remain convinced that they are destined for stardom. But consider this: Although practically anyone can instantly recognize tone-deafness when they hear it, in a world where fewer and fewer people read at all, bad writers can go on believing in their (unappreciated) genius indefinitely.


More at Salon.

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