Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Facing the Tough Stuff
I am one of those strange people who enjoys surrounding herself with murderers, thieves, and the sexually permissive. I enjoy knives, guns, men who misuse women, and women who thrive on the worst guys in the universe. In short, I'm a writer. You'll find me sitting alone in coffee shops muttering dialogue to myself. Or chewing on a bite of sandwich while furiously typing on my computer, indifferent to the diners around me. And it's all worth it... most of the time.
Because there are other aspects to writing. The ever-broadening ass from too many hours of murder, lust, and heartache. And there is, alas, disappointment. Because no matter who you are as a writer, no matter how rich or famous, you still have to smile in the face of criticism. Because everyone's a critic with an impression of your book.
And a book today, well, a book today isn't what a book used to be. In the past, no one would dare go to the beach without at least one paperback. In a doctor's waiting room, at the airport, on a plane, a subway or a bus, the public delved into the wonderful world of books. To this day, I never travel without one. Not to Las Vegas, Hawaii or London. Electronic or paper, I'm a devoted reader as well as a writer.
But times have changed. Ask your hairdresser who won on American Idol, and she has the answer. Ask her about the latest book by her bed, and she may give you a vague look. Today, many Americans are texting, on the phone, staring into space, or passively watching TV.
So I entangle myself with the worst of humanity for my own pleasure. And I hope there are enough readers attracted to the cover of my book to take the plunge and start reading. And maybe they will be inspired to keep reading. And when they've finished my book, perhaps they'll go on to read another. And as both a writer and a reader, that is the hope I keep alive.
Jill Shure is the Benjamin Franklin Award-winning author of Night Jazz, Night Glitter, Night Caps, and the upcoming A Clause for Murder. Learn more about Jill Shure and her books at www.jillshure.com.