Recently, I came across the following boast on LinkedIn:
“I am a professional writer with thousands of books in circulation …”
Poor old James Joyce wrote only three or four!
Yes, it’s the age of ‘instant content creation’. But I rather like the words of Rilke in The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge: “… with poems one accomplishes so little when one writes them early. One should hold off and gather sense and sweetness a whole life long, a long life if possible, and then, right at the end, one could perhaps write ten lines that are good.”
Milan Kundera wrote The Book of Laughter and Forgetting long before the days of a few million blogs coming online every second. But the trend of ‘graphomania’ is not a new one:
“The irresistible proliferation of graphomania among politicians, taxi drivers, childbearers, lovers, murderers, thieves, prostitutes, officials, doctors, and patients shows me that everyone without exception bears a potential writer within him, so that the entire human species has good reason to go down into the streets and shout: ‘We are all writers!’
“For everyone is pained by the thought of disappearing, unheard and unseen, into an indifferent universe, and because of that everyone wants, while there is still time, to turn himself into a universe of words.
“One morning (and it will be soon), when everyone wakes up as a writer, the age of universal deafness and incomprehension will have arrived.”
Got to go now. I need to send my 52nd novel off to the publisher …