If they do not read, let them write!

Apparently, Marie Antoinette never said the fateful phrase:

S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche

“If they have not bread, let them eat cake”

But just go with the idea for a second. Sure it was a bit of slander, but how so? Well, it shows how out of touch she was: in this portrayal of her, this could be an actual ‘solution’. She had both bread and cake. So if one was absent, just eat the other. Of course, if there is no bread, there can be no cake, and  cake has no nutritional value. It would be stupid for a starving person to eat cake–but I guess it would be better than nothing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing and the publishing world. Its not a huge leap from academia, and I’ve always been an avid reader. But last year I started, in addition to all the academic blogs, reading publishing blogs and specifically self-publishing blogs championed by my deadly trio of JA Konrath, Hugh Howey and Passive Voice. While of course I’d hope that this blog-devouring and reading fiction could turn into some type of occupation, I’ve settled for observing, passive learning and ultimately a sort of hobby.

But one thing keeps coming up again and again in all three blogs about the plight of the writer, the reader and the publisher–not in my deadly trio, they are the ones that inspire this. And to this, I would like to fling not only my unsolicited two cents, but add something which reveals my own out-of-touch-ness with this world I’m peering into in a very Antoinette-y way. If one of the problems is that no one reads and too many are publishing, why not skip the nutritional bread of reading and let them eat that cake: writing. Once they have a taste of it, start writing that is, they will out of necessity read more. Now, I don’t know how fast of a writer these people are, but I am SLOW. I can read about a couple novels a week (I did mention that I’m unemployed right?) but writing? That takes time. And while I write I read. Having everyone become a writer is good.

I guess its possible to be a writer that doesn’t read–but I haven’t heard of many of this variety. I’ve had friends that never read fiction (and hate writing), I’ve known someone who proudly said they only read 11 books their entire life: 7 were Harry Potter (not judging, I ❤ Harry). These are not the target audience. They also will never publish.

When it comes to the ‘money’ side of things, I have no idea (learn more than me here). But then I’m at the stage where I think OMG someone reads something I created? The world is over! I don’t believe it!

So, let everyone write. Let them publish. This is a good thing.

Also–I love a world where music and novels come out together. Let’s write. Let’s get creative. Let’s push boundaries. If only poor lil Antoinette had thought to inspire with her words, which she never really said anyway.


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