Recently, I saw a blog post by an author that argued that writing is not hard work and doesn't take very long. I immediately thought of all my writer friends who work hard to create the best prose they are capable of, as well as my own experiences with writing fiction, and wondered what the hell this guy was talking about.
But as I read further, it became clear -- this dude has no love for his craft. Maybe he loves telling stories, but his writing lacked a unique voice and featured the quadruple exclamation point that is so common among saleswolves.
Not that he didn't raise some good points. Fifteen minutes of writing in a day can result in a novel-length work in a year. The math works at 250 words a day! But he was trying to make the point that good writing shouldn't take a long time, and I have yet to see a first draft of anything that is worth paying for.
But hey, if this dude can sell his first drafts and make a living, more power to him. He's definitely not the only one. Maybe only writers can tell the difference? We are super critical of ourselves and prone to spotting every flaw we produce. Maybe that carries over into reading the work of others.
I don't think so, though. Lots of people see flaws in things and love them anyway. I've had so many conversations that included a phrase like, "I know it's cheesy, but I love it!" Conversely, there is Ulysses, which was obviously well-crafted but which I just couldn't get into. People seem to be able forgive an awful lot for an interesting story, and the most polished prose in the world won't keep them reading a story that doesn't resonate with them.
That doesn't excuse us from taking some extra time to make sure our art is awesome. I don't think we should settle for mediocrity just because we can sell it.