𝐹𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 Fear of forever dwelling in the hell of bad writers

That is, it was the fear that afflicts most citizens who, one fine (or dark) day, choose to make the practice of writing, and especially the practice of fiction writing, an integral part of their lives. Fear of being no good. Also fear of being overlooked. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear that one’s efforts and striving will come to nothing. Fear of the step that leaves no trace. Fear of the forces of chance and nature that wipe away shallow prints. Fear of dining alone and unnoticed. Fear of going unrecognized. Fear of failure and making a spectacle of oneself. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear of forever dwelling in the hell of bad writers.

— from 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, translated by Natasha Wimmer

2004 (2008)

𝐹𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 The Whole Damn #amwriting Thing

Writing is one thing, reading is another, but the Literary Twitter is something else. At best it’s an improvised, collective, ever-updating fount of news, knowledge, and wit. At worst, it’s a column of ice chipped at by the axes of cutely compressed links to the world’s ever-expanding online literary content; endless self-promotion and sycophantic promotion of others; quipped opinion regarding live televised events (cable TV dramas, disasters du jour); public conversations better served by texts unread by thousands of strangers; declamations upon the craft of writing and everything else (as though there were anything else, ha ha ha); lesser-known writers retweeting better-known writers hoping to gain better-known writers’ favor; middling writers retweeting publicity staff hyping middling reviews in middling publications of middling novels; writers offering mash-up puns of canonical novel titles; writers tweeting daily pics of their word count function on their latest novel manuscripts; the whole damn #amwriting thing; pretentious young writers pitching surreal/absurdist novels or films or products or outerspace expeditions; famous novelists tweeting insights ripped from novels published long ago that no one reads anymore; writers with their Goodreads accounts synched with their Twitter so everyone can see they’ve given five stars to some non-fiction anthology published by their friends; writers who’ve tweeted nearly 50K times proclaiming their gratitude for writing and reading on the day of a domestic terrorist event; writers playing nice in the character-restricted sandbox but rarely letting loose and saying exactly what they think, that is unless their handle is @breteastonellis.

— from “Leeching the Seething in One Long Paragraph: @ThomasBernhard and the Comedy of Contempt” by Lee Klein

2018

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