Monday, June 8, 2015

A Change In Writers From Yesterday To Today

Since opening the agency in 2003, I have seen a huge change in the types of writers out there. It is not just the type of story these authors are writing, but the approaches to writing that I have seen the largest difference. I am really wondering if the writer of today has the same values and desires that the writers I saw early in the agency, or for that matter, writers that proceed them going all the way back through history (that might be too extreme, but I think you will understand my point).

Maybe it is a perceptual thing, but it seems to me, many writers today are forgetting that one thing that got them interested in writing in the first place. It was the power to create. The power to be creative. Today, however, the story seems to only be a means to an end. It is simply a tool to make money.

And personally, I think that is a shame. 

Yes, I do understand this is a bit of a bind I am putting myself in here as a literary agent. My job is to get the money for these authors. To find them a deal and to get them a contract. I understand this is a business and that is controlling a lot of how we think and believe. But have we taken this too far? Have we pushed the ideas such as marketing, agents, advertising, publishing, publicity and sales so far that we are forgetting to create a truly good story?

This is one of those "chicken before the egg" concepts, and, in no way am I going to blame one side or the other. I think we are all in this together. I guess it is times like this, that I feel a bit frustrated when I see new authors, still holding on to that passion and the drive to create, and I know (or fear) that we lose it all the moment one of them signs that first contract. Has the idea of making money at something we love to do "from the heart" ruined or tainted the final product? 

I don't know? I guess this is just one of those thoughts that will have to work itself out with time. Maybe this is just something like Peter Pan. We all have to grow up and the idea of Neverland just cannot exist all of the time.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your perceptions of the new writers being more attuned to the business of authorship instead of the value of creating story. They don't understand my attitude at all either. I'm not in a rush for cash or expecting stellar sales with my first novel, instead I am working on the companion books within the same story world.

    I've been told that I've ruined my career success by not having two more books already published (less than 2 years) as the newbie authors don't understand the tremendous opportunity we have now to build a career without the ax of "shelf-space" defining our chances. I am personally working on "from the heart" stories and watching this trend of authors who think a first contract is the ticket to riches.