Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mel Bosworth gets Bent.

After taking the day off yesterday from hyping interviews by and about people and things we are quite digging, we decided to continue this trend for at least one more day after reading a most excellent interview with TBWCYL, Inc. favorite and podcastee Mel Bosworth at Sheldon Lee Compton's quite fine Bent Country. Please feel free to imbibe on all the Bosworth you can handle and then we suggest that you sit back and savor the experience as it will certainly change your life. And mostly for the better at that. Also, and as always, please feel free to wet your appetite with the below excerpt.

SLC: The West Virginia writer Breece Pancake was once asked if he "wrote his stories for certain markets." His response was to say, "I don't write to make a living." Of course we'd all like to make a living doing only this good work, but where do you stand on the issue of writing for publication (that is with publication in mind) as opposed to writing simply for the sake of the story and then moving on from there?

MB: Great question, Shel. And hm. I suppose I write stories for the sake of the story for the most part. It's fun to create. And at this point in the game (for me, and for a lot of us, really) it's not about making money, or being able to make a living with our writing. That's simply not realistic. Not when over 90% of the markets (I'm just throwing that number out there but I'm confident it's close) don't offer much in terms of monetary compensation. And even now, for me, with one small collection available in print and a novella on the way, I'm not expecting to make anything. And even the bit of money that I do make from my writing goes right back into the machine. It's not buying me the necessities of life. It's buying books, or paper, or ink. For indie writers and publishers, money is laughable. We're all taking a hit. We're dumping gallons of time and energy (and often our own money) into a process that rewards us by allowing us to be a part of it. We're running a race for the thrill of the run, because it makes us feel good. We're junkies, Shel, the lot of us. The rush of creation. The rush of knowing that something decent, perhaps even readable, can gush from our fingertips. I don't always write stories with a particular market in mind (although I have on occasion) but I am very cognizant of wanting to write something worthwhile, or what I deem worthwhile. And luckily, a lot of my favorite pieces to write have found good homes.


Mel Bosworth said...

you are a great man, ben tanzer. a great, great man.

Sheldon Lee Compton said...

Thanks, Ben, for letting some folks know about this. Motion seconded...a great man, full of honor and wisdom and truth. May you dream of banjos and dark-haired women for nights to come.