Sudden Popularity

It is odd but, in a perverse sense, exciting that this blog stumbled one of WordPress’s valiant employees. He or she decided that instead of kicking this blog away, one of my posts deserved to be placed upon the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress. I am proving, once again, that it is infinitely better to be a lucky writer than a good one.

Speaking of that maxim, I take it most of my readership has glimpse the sales figures for ‘unlucky’ J. K. Rowling. It makes for some interesting reading. The same author, the same prose (perhaps, even, better prose) and sharing the same starting point of her past self. In this instance, however, it is her past self that succeeds. Her book, written with a pseudonym, has floundered. On the off chance that you missed it, here is a CNN article of the event.

Or one could look at this commentary-image composite of the most ‘famous’ rejections of ‘famous’ authors.

I like the idea that the best authors get published and aside from a few hiccups, I’m looking at you Twilight, better books sell more on average than the worst books. Is it enough to produce good content, or should writers learn the intricacies of sacrificing small mammals (firstborns?) to Mammon to make sure that their books have an actual fighting chance?

Consider also, dear reader, that I am neither a writer, lucky or–morally–good. Yet that is not from where the perverse sense of excitment comes from. It comes from the simple realization that in the darker hours of the soul I believed that I needed, and wanted, little readership. Everyone has their own personal stock quote for the occassion. Mine is from Phocion, ‘when the multitude applaud and assent’ then something is in fact very wrong. Now that, comparatively, the multide seem to be descending onto this blog I cannot say that Phocion rings quite as elequoently. It is amazing how pliable my beliefs are. The realization is exciting.

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10 thoughts on “Sudden Popularity

  1. Congratulations. Luck truly is a requirement of literary “success” it seems to me… but it only secures a hearing. Then it’s up to your actual “talent” to win the day. Something you have done.

  2. I’m enjoying your blog for too many reasons to mention – but one, you make me exercise my lazy brain. Sometimes labyrinthian “internal monologue” blogs can be a snooze fest but your synapses excite and confound. And you’re brave enough to ask these important existential questions: “What is Art?” and “How do I become famous like Philip Roth but not like Lindsay Lohan?”

    • I appreciate that! There are some dark nights of the soul where I wonder how chatting into the void, which some misspell as ‘the internet,’ affects my psyche. That there are generous people like yourself who are willing to drop by soothes those concerns.

      And is that a dig at the purveyor of American pop culture? You say that like an unchecked coke addiction and an indecently vigorous tendency towards being an idiot is a bad thing.

      • How dare you say such things about Philip Roth! Oh, nevermind, you meant Lindsay. For what it’s worth, IMHO the path to getting published and widely read: 1) Good content, 2) Compelling story, 3) Luck. You’re a triple-threat, and thusly you should call yourself what you are: A writer. Keep going!!!

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