I took allergy medicine this morning instead of the standard sinus fare, and have been more coherent because of it. Note to self: buy local honey. Though, I’m long past the two-week grace period of moving to a new continent — and, er, Oxford 2006 probably ruined my chances of that working, too. Still, honey.
Artists can sell their work to whomever wants to buy it. Musicians can play for symphonies, bands, on street corners. But what of writers? In my limited understanding as to how the other fields of art work, it seems that writers alone face the wall of external judges to get their work even acknowledged. Someone else decides whether our work is good enough to publish and make known to the public eye. Whereas a group of musicians may band together, play a few gigs, and go where the likely fans are, a writer may spend the same span of years waiting for an agent, an editor, a publisher, to risk spending money on a single story. The narrow door is not a bad thing, because not everything that is written should be published, but I wonder how many good writers are turned down in favor of something less good, but which the publisher thinks might sell. We live in a market economy. When a writer simply wishes the world to know her work, to read and enjoy it, I can see how self-publishing can be appealing. Self-publishing and e-publishing both carry stigmas, however. It saddens me that other servants of the muses may be able to scrape a living off of their creativity and writers are left to find alternative work just to live.
Yes, I have been reading The Dispossessed. The philosophy behind Anarres appeals to me greatly, but as Shevek has found, even utopia is no place for the artistic, solitary soul.
T.S. Eliot needs to finish writing Chapter 2 of her novel so that Ezra Pound can send her Part II of “Masterpiece.” At least one thing is going on, nay, even ahead of, schedule. Maybe while Kelly’s looking at it, I can stop obsessing about it long enough to get some real work done (‘Beauty is perfection’). I did manage to get most of the York cycle read today. That’s something.