Saturday, October 30, 2004


I'm gonna do it. Are you?

I remember when I first heard of writing a novel in 30 days, I pretty much agreed with Joseph Epstein's take:

Why should so many people think they can write a book, especially at a time when so many people who actually do write books turn out not really to have a book in them — or at least not one that many other people can be made to care about? Something on the order of 80,000 books get published in America every year, most of them not needed, not wanted, not in any way remotely necessary.

It's similar to the feeling I have whenever I hear someone say that they've picked up a digital camera. Oh god, another Photographer. Or whenever I see those YOU + HP commercials about how You're An Artist Now. Please.

But of course it's this snobby attitude (my BFA, my paralyzing perfectionism, self-loathing and fear of failure) that keeps my cameras in the closet. Ok, who am I kidding? They're just sitting here on the floor, collecting dust like HEPA filters. Damn, I need to clean...

What's that all about? That's no fun. And not productive.

I'm sure a lot of people out there have thought that the point of writing is to get famous, or rich or be recognized in some fashion.

We at Atomic Books, know that that is very rarely the case for writers. It can't even be the goal of most of the publications we carry (except for a deluded few). Our books are more about expression, obsession and community. People can't help it!

It's not really so much "Hey, look at me!" but "Hey, did you hear about this?" or "Are you like me? Do you love...?"

I don't even want my novel read (because you know it's going to be baaaaad). I just think the process seems like a fulfilling activity, and when done with friends (and we have a BUNCH of them signed up), could be a lot of fun. It's ridiculous. It's an exercise in anti-vanity. Exercise in futility? You mean like the coming election? Wait...

Really, we needed ONE MORE THING to do in November. When you have a million things to do, why not sneak in another? You get so much more done that way.

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