Blogger and RA guy (iinm) Cullen Gallagher has dug out a WRITER'S DIGEST article from the mid 1950s by the brilliant sports-fiction and crime-fiction (and so-so sf) writer William Campbell Gault:
Still, Gault ends on a slightly upbeat note (comparatively speaking). I will quote the final four paragraphs of the article in whole as they are not only the most encouraging passages of the article, but I think it's the closest Gault comes to explaining what kept him going through all the hard years.
Remember this, if you have written a couple dozen short stories and sold them to national markets, the chances are you know as much about the business as many of the editors you are trying to sell to. You are going to have to write what they want, but always be sure the paths they want you to take are reasonable. The chances are they know what is salable and they must be listened to. But only you can determine what is distinctly yours and that is your road to the ultimate success. Editors come and go constantly and the next man may love what the last man despised.
It's all taste and opinion and one man is different from the next. Mr. Faulkner might not appreciate Mr. Spillane, but that is also true in reverse.
None of this need concern you. Out there, beyond the lighted limits of the place you sit and type, somebody is waiting for the kind of thing you write. Writing can never be more than communication and should never be less.
So what do you do? You keep typing.
And here's Ed Gorman's commentary on the Gault piece:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 15 Jul 2009 EDT