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Monday, November 13, 2006

You're a writer...You're doomed...

No matter how good it is, people will despise your work.

I'm sure some of the writers in the audience are shaking their heads in disbelief after reading that.

You are a GOOD writer. People LOVE the things you write. You don't write like THESE people. You have TALENT.

Trust me. You are doomed to have someone hate you.

No, I'm not having a bad day. No one has sent me an email lambasting me for my poor work. The only comment about a writing project I've received today was a hearty "thumbs up." I'm not trying to pull others down into the muck with me. My day has been muck-free.

I did, however, find Charlie's Diary. There you can find actual reviews, written by actual people, of some literary greats you and I might have thought to be beyond reproach.

That's where you can find the proof that all writers are doomed to have detractors.

Orwwell's 1984?

"Animal Farm was okay, but 1984 was horrible. It took him forever, it seemed like, to get into the accual book. If someone were to take out all of the useless part of 1984, it would be half as long. Why would he wirte so much about nothing? I havent ever meet someone who could wirte such a boring book about the goverment."

Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath?

"This book was 600 pages written purly about a bunch of hicks from Oklahoma starving. Thanks, but no thanks."

But wait! Not EVERYONE hates 1984. One reviewer sticks up for Orwell in a critique of Heller's Catch-22:

"I always wanted to read Catch 22 because it was a famous book (and of course the term was used in a Metallica song). I began reading it three times but after 50 pages or so, I always lost interest. I never could discover a story and the many dialogues and events are strange, to say the least. Someone once told me it is a great book after page 100 but I never got that far. So I can only say: don't even try reading Catch 22', read '1984' by George Orwell and listen to Metallica."

Read the various reviews and the comments, too.

If you're a writer, you might want to bookmark it for the next time a client does send a project back with a few "revision notes" or pointed comments.

In the meantime, recognize that you, like Heller, Steinbeck and Orwell, are sure to fall short of someone's standards.

It's one of the few times that something akin to inevitable failure may be comforting!