His latest novel has just been released, and I am already tired of the dog and pony show. Man, this guy knows how to stir up the theatrics.
I won’t assume what his personal life entails, or his work routine, or his belief system. I can’t despise the man because he is a multi-millionaire, and has successfully positioned himself in the publishing world so that everyone wants to ride the wave with him, or cash in on a fat paycheck.
So, why do stories like this irk me so?
|not my photo.|
Maybe because writers who get lucky, who were in the right place at the right time, who sat down one day in a café and decided they could turn out a novel (after never having studied the craft), have given the general public the wrong impression: that writing is easy, that anyone can do it, and you can get famous reinventing the wheel by making it a flashier, tricked out model.
Then later, when these writers are rolling in the dough, they get interviewed and the media and masses want to know when their next book is due, and their agent and publisher begins hounding them to produce, produce, produce. They all want more, more, more. And the author starts realizing, Shit! Writing is actually hard when you have to do it on cue. Writing does take time, especially when done under expectation. And regardless of how many copies were sold, writing that isn’t of a certain level, will almost always be critiqued by the literary experts (devalued by the lack of experience that is so transparent in the author’s work).
Then they disappear from the limelight, or sell flop after flop. But it wasn’t as good as their first, the people will say. Their die-hard fans will continue rallying in their corner, and for the author it makes them believe they are worthy of all the publicity and wealth they have received-- maybe they even rationalize it, maybe they become experts themselves on their version of the wheel.
Fake it until you make it, is a rather funny saying to me. I never understood it, but I know people who abide by this motto, and who lead lives and careers by way of these words.
I wish Dan Brown all the best in his consumer and commercial success. And I in turn, will go back to laboring over my silly stories that have nothing to do with wheels, and attempt to make a living of sorts.