There is a struggle, now, to be recognized for beautiful writing, and even more difficult to become as famous as great authors like J.K. Rowling or John Green. Technology has hindered this ability with self-publishing and social forums for writers to publish their works. However, John Green encourages writers to stay true to their passion and write with a purpose. “We are not in the widgets business, my friends. We are in the story business, the business of bringing light to the way-down-deep-darkness- which-is-you. And in that sense, at least, business is good, because that darkness ain’t going anywhere” (Green).
Technological advances such as easy self-publishing has made amazing writing indiscernible from the mediocre. While some self-published authors are award-worthy and just as great as the authors published through publishing houses with publicity backing them, some find an easy outlet for publishing to avoid the imminent rejection they face with publishing companies. Furthermore, while some can promote their novels well through social media and other outlets, some will fall short with this publicity tactic. “We won’t need gatekeepers or institutions to help us share books; we have Twitter for that now. But there are some problems with this idea. Many people who are good at writing novels are bad at Twitter. I realize this advantage has long been with us—Twain owed much of his success to his crazy hair and hilarious lectures—but it’s a strange and dangerous business to judge a novel by its author, and stranger and more dangerous still to judge a novel by its author’s tweets” (Green). This could be the difference between a best-seller and a waste of time.
Writing, however, shouldn’t be all about the money and fame. It should inspire without understanding and instill hope for the melancholy. All of the fame and fortune would just be an added bonus and would be encouragement to help the next generation of people find their inspiration as well. “I believe that fiction can help, that made-up stories can matter by helping us to feel unalone, by connecting us to others, and by giving shape to the world as we find it—a world that is broken and unjust and horrifying and not without hope” (Green). Great novels withstand the test of time and can motivate someone to take a stand for what they believe in. Novels can save lives, staying in someone’s heart for the rest of their days. “Somehow, improbably, even long after they are forgotten, the stories endure. And through them, so do we” (Green).
This blog post was made in collaboration with Anna Mayer.