My family know me to be somewhat different from normal folks. I usually don’t follow the pack on anything. Take so-called celebrities. What gives them celebrity status? If we consider actors and actresses, why does standing before a camera, acting out scenes that are, by and large, fictional and of no consequence, make a person a “star?” What is so special about playing make-believe, that it has hoards of people around the world fawning on the individual or individuals who play the characters? In my view, there is nothing special about them at all.
Take writers. What makes a writer special? Is it the story that he or she writes, or is it the hype that builds the person into a “celebrity?” In the modern world of writing and publishing, celebrity status is often gained not because of writing skill or a great story-line, but because of the great public relations machine that puts good writers “in our face,” and creates a following. Many readers buy and read their books not because they enjoy the writing or the genre, but because of the celebrity status of the author.
A recent study in the UK concluded that a very large percentage of people questioned, lied about having seen award-winning films so that they could maintain their credibility as “being in the mainstream.”
Like most people who like to be around books, I have read works by many of the “great” writers, and very few of them have struck me as great or excellent; most are, at best, good or even just ok.
I recently encountered a writer, hidden away in the recesses of a writer’s community, whose work is so good, whose writing style is so clean and honest, that he fits the bill of “great writer” in all respects. He is not the only one of these hidden writers that I have encountered. There are many more, all either content to write because they enjoy it, or unable to break into the great big world of publishing. They neither seek, nor want to be celebrities, they are the true craftsmen and women of writing.
Do yourself a favour. Find these writing communities, and read the works of the members. You will be very pleasantly surprised.