Is your writing cheap? Is my writing cheap? What does it mean to have cheap writing?
When something is cheap, it usually means that it doesn’t cost very much. More often than not, this is because it is poorly crafted. I’ve been thinking lately and I’ve been asking the question, “Is everything cheaply made?” Do carpenters work their hardest to make a house properly any more? Do companies produce items that work to their full potential? Do restaurants live up to their reputation? Do they have you pay too much money for food that’s not so great?
A lot of things in society are cheap. It’s just a result of the poor economy. But while we can’t always have a great influence over the economy, we do have the power to make our words the best they can be. Our books don’t have to be cheaply made. We don’t have to be like the rest of society; we can put valuable effort into our writing. I know, it isn’t easy. It’s easier to go cheap with our writing. Publishing houses are smart and will take whatever will sell. Do you notice how some poorly written books get published by big companies?
Because publishers know that people will read cheaply written books so long as they are entertained.
Ah. Here lies a big problem with our culture. Hedonism can effect even our writing. Hedonism is the erroneous notion that pleasure is the chief good in life. Unfortunately, many people follow this false belief unknowingly. Pleasure, and being entertained, are in and of themselves good things. But they can be cheaply attained for little cost, and we often miss out on the really good stuff because we are blinded by our longing to fulfill our desire. This applies to our moral life, but even to writing! How often do you settle with reading a book that has unimpressive writing but an exciting plot? How often do we forgo the classical work of literature and instead pick up the lousy science fiction novel (no offense to sci-fi readers. I like sci-fi too!)? Do we seek to discover what will make our writing a true work of art that will actually be remembered five years from now? Will we work hard so that our books will be good enough, and will possess something good enough that will last for centuries?
I tip my hat to you, Shakespeare.
Don’t let my words discourage you from ever sitting down and writing a book. But I want you to know that the writing doesn’t occur when you’re jotting down the story…it happens when you go back and start editing. Good luck, my dear followers! I know that many of you are embarking on a journey I am quite familiar with! Remember that you can ask me any questions and I will be willing to answer.