Re: RARA-AVIS: aspiring writers, take note!

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 08 Oct 2002

I just became aware of this thread, went to the NYT site, and read Epstein's opinion piece. Sure, he's cynical about it all, but the advice is a welcome counterbalance to the notion that anyone can write a decent book.

What he does not say is that in order to write, you don't have to publish a book or anything else. His point, I think, is not about writing but about publishing, an important distinction.

There are thousands of writers who work for companies or public agencies and write internal stuff, advertising stuff, marketing stuff, strategy stuff, and so forth. They all write. Some of them even write well. For such writers, vanity is out of the question, yet many of them love what they do.

If the survey said that 80 percent of Americans think they can be Pynchons, I would worry. But wanting to write something, or having a story to tell, is not a surprising urge. Publishing it is another matter.



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