A writer should write less; better if nothing


Young writers are a species which receives endless tips for their work. It is unlikely to make a mistake given the countless book published so that these (young writers) have a clear road. Wise writers are unable to give up the edition of the creative writers for newcomers. We are a people of sailors, explorers, and even councilors.

And, yet despite the fact that the suggestion buffet is always rich, young writers keep on asking for more and new ones, as if the past is not to their liking. That’s a scene that remembers that guy who keeps changing doctor because his one has forbidden him to drink.

Writers aren’t wrong. Often they meet the publisher who asks them for financial support, or the publisher who doesn’t pay, often the publisher who doesn’t publish because of the poor quality or lack of the same. So? There is just the self-publication left as an option that thing that everyone can do because there is no filter.

It is now easy, inevitable, and even holy to debate the role of the filter and the workforce in a sector which is now in crisis and which only keeps on scrabbling in the barrel. Just remember the depressive climate of the first day at the Fiera della Piccola e Media Editoria (Small and Medium Publishing Fairy) last December in Rome.

The free way to selfies? New opportunities are emerging. Pure industry professionals, editing expert, proofreaders, and file processing join under the wing of the international giant, creating virtual publishing houses: the publisher under the shadow of the American Amazon. Unfortunately, one fact emerges: costs do not encourage online purchases. Although the author (or the new publisher) decrees the price of his work, it raises the cost of shipping. The kinds of the well-known stars and stripes portal that sells every good say that if a price is too low, the book will not have its exposure in all channels (and if a product lacks visibility, the consequence is logical…) because production costs exceed the economic return.

According to a common thought, this society is enslaved to a general degradation that cannot be compromised also because we don’t read that much or at all as if when the literacy rate was directed downwards more than at present, we would have read with feverish action. I wonder if there even has been a time when books were being devoured.

Emil Cioran announced that books must be dangerous, have to leave a wound and change the life of the reader. That’s the point, perhaps. Is there anyone who wants to change their existence?

I often read articles from editorial marketing gurus which reveal the secrets of the strategies, the aggregation tactics, and the reader hunt; explorations regarding the most debated themes and topics of greatest interest.

In my mailbox, I often receive delirious posts. The communication system is collapsing. What does matter is just the click, the sharing, the aggregation. A group of apostles is created (usually more than 12), dedicated to what they like and to the recommend this post. Each of them expects all the others to pay attention.

It also emerges the energetic and resolute figure that usually verbally threatens, politely insults and warns who dare to contradict them because at the next time he will unfollow them.

The common denominator is the artifice. More or less as in those portals for self-publishing where we comment on each other and add stars to others’ books after the author has done the same. Sometimes you even exchange the purchase as soon as you have identified who bought your purchase. That’s it.

I may move forward.

There is a difference between fiction and plausibility. In writing and publishing her personal Pretty Woman style novel, the young writer will get contracts, gain visibility, perhaps increase his own account. And what about literature?

Starting from the assumption that every artistic expression is a fiction, in fiction itself, we talk about dreams, aspirations, of the one in a million. This is a kind of art that serves the individual. Feeding dreams for the silent majority have always been an interest-bearing market. Let’s be clear: there are bad books about plausibility and realism, there is no doubt. We are just trying to highlight the attempts, the task, the intent.

Now, I always hope that a prostitute will meet the prince charming, that a thief will mend his way, that a terrorist will put flowers in his rifle, but life is different. You don’t know how, but definitely, it is not a penny dreadful. I believe that the writer needs to understand what he wants to do with his activity and where he wants to go with it. It is necessary to question the role of the writer or the poet in society, what is notoriety and not the reason you have to despise it, but the reason you have to sacrifice your work to achieve it.

A writer has to write less, better if nothing. That’s it. Why? I don’t know. It seems to be paradoxical as much as the general situation of publishing, including demand, supply, and needs.

And that’s why I regret everything I wrote and published. Writing techniques have taught us to write the same concepts for centuries, inventing, if possible, new ways to express them: I will tell you, in the most original way possible, do not buy my books and spit on me.



© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017



© Enrico Mattioli 2017