A world without readers? What a sad vision.

by caroanna

J.D. Salinger may not be able to actually rest in peace with everybody talking about his reclusive life now that it’s over.

But Jennifer Finney Boylan has a point when she writes that the literary recluse is nothing to be jealous of. Writing without the purpose of it being read is keeping a journal or therapeutic writing. That’s fine, if you enjoy it. But I don’t think these are writers.

Writers relish people reading what they have to say. What makes writing worth its while is when other people take the time to read it and think about it. That’s the greatest compliment you could pay to a writer. Even if you hate their style or content. I will deem myself a successful writer if someone cares to comment on it because he wanted to read it, not because he has to or because he knows me.

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3 Comments to “A world without readers? What a sad vision.”

  1. Thanks for your follow up. I definitely agree that creative jobs are not appreciated for what they produce, but I still disagree about your distinction between who is/is not something. I think that people can be defined by their activities whether professionally (paid) or not.

    You are a blogger because you write blog posts, don’t you think? Most people who write blogs do it non-professionally, but only some people are paid for writing blogs. How can we say that only those who are paid for a task are worthy of the descriptive noun?

    Dictionary definitions for “writer” include one who is paid to write and publish, as well as simply one who commits thoughts to paper or is able to write. So, I agree, just because you give a massage doesn’t make you a professional masseuse, but I think you can still be described as masseuse because you do the task in a general sense. 🙂

  2. They wouldn’t be considered artists, they would be considered creative, I think. And it doesn’t change any of the outcome.

    My point is that many creative jobs are not appreciated for what they produce and appreciation of a job is at least as important as the money you earn with them, as you see when you look at the number of people that apply to all the popular jobs, like lawyer or doctor.

    Just because you give somebody a massage, you’re not a masseuse. When you clear somebody’s wounds, you’re not a doctor. And if you don’t receive money for your written words, you’re not a writer.

    Thanks for commenting because I already noticed that my entry has flaws: I wouldn’t call somebody an artists who performs for the performance’s sake but if someone would be willing to pay for it.

    In the end, everything’s is just a matter of definition but I relish in those things…

  3. “Writing without the purpose of it being read is keeping a journal or therapeutic writing. That’s fine, if you enjoy it. But I don’t think these are writers.”

    If you think a person has to share her writing to be a writer, does a person also need to perform with an instrument in front of other people to be considered a musician? Can’t we be writers/musicians/artists/etc. in our private lives?

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