Saturday, April 24, 2010

To the New Writer

THE NEW WRITER should be the last person defending the status quo, unless you're already published by a conglomerate.

The New Writer shouldn't see me as the enemy. I dabble in writing in an effort to create the badly-needed new literary vehicle. An effort to accomplish what New Writers should be doing. What they're not doing.

I'm a salesman more than a writer. I'm a low-rent, anti-establishment promoter. If I was successful I wouldn't be searching after new ideas and new writers. I'd be in a comfortable office twiddling with paper clips or doodling with my computer. I'd go with the flow. Like what everyone else is doing.

That I'm not successful (I'm at the bottom) demands I discover a new road.

The New Writer should realize that literary art hasn't changed in fifty years. The art isn't just stagnant. It's sat unmoved for so many years, collecting excrement, it's become a cesspool.

What if football teams used the same playbook and followed the same strategies as fifty years ago? That's the current state of American literature.

To the New Writer: You have your MFA degree. This qualifies you to write like 500,000 other degreed writers. Move beyond it. Rip up the certificate.

The task of the New Writer is to realize that the current literary art is at a dead end. It's time to create new art.

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