Sunday, December 23, 2007
I think I have figured out why I ignore this blog. I have only so much courage to publish and that must be spent on my column. I am loath to send any of the 8 or so novels I have written since the last one was published in 1994. I would never have published at all if the publishers hadn’t asked me for manuscripts. This sounds ridiculous, I know, because writers generally have such trouble getting a manuscript published. This didn’t have anything to do with the quality of my writing – it had to do with weird circumstances. I have been writing a column a week for nearly a year and yet every time I file the current one, I have a sick feeling at the pit of my stomach. I seem to have bequeathed this strange trait to my children. Why do I write then, you might ask. I write because it is what makes me happy. But why accept such assignments as my column? I do it because I can’t bear to be a coward. What do I fear? I fear offending someone. I have only written one negative review in my life and that caused me much anguish. I don’t agree to write reviews unless I first look at the book and see that I can say some positive things about it. The one negative review came about because I hadn’t seen the book first, just been told about it. I fear saying something dumb. And yet the few bad reviews my novels have received haven’t really bothered me much.