Sunday, February 28, 2010

The writing advice industry

Sierra thinks I should knock off this writing nonsense and go get her something to eat.

Here's a more cynical take on last week's Guardian round-up of advice to writers on writing, from Russell Smith at The Globe and Mail:

Their repeated compilation does point, however, to a paradox often noted in literary circles. The market for fiction shrinks every year, the attention paid to novels by the media diminishes monthly, booksellers demand ever-lower prices, everybody in the industry says it’s the worst it’s ever been. And yet more academic or private creative-writing programs are created every year, and the demand for advice on becoming a novelist remains furiously high. Indeed, the selling of advice on writing has become a self-supporting industry: I know young writers who are doing masters of fine arts in creative writing so that they can in turn become creative-writing teachers in similar programs.

I get the feeling that the best advice is just to shut up and write. And don't quit your day job just yet, damn it.


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