Bukowski and the importance of hard work

Friday, July 2, 2010

I'm keeping it short today because I'm trying to wrap up my work and skip out early. Plus let's face it, nobody is going to be reading a literary blog on the Friday before the 4th of July.

Amy Guth from the Chicago Tribune points out a post from CopyBlogger about Charles Bukowski, and how he generated his prodigious output by simply focusing on his work. In an age when we're all expected to cultivate online personae, develop "platforms" for our writing, and flog our work to the thousands of "friends" we collect online, Guth says the work is still all that matters:

Certainly, I'm a big believer in writers establishing a strong online presence, and without a doubt I believe that it is essential for the writer-- no matter the size of the publisher or PR firm (or lack of one) behind them-- to engage in thoughtful self-promotion and branding. I believe there is both greater burden placed upon and greater opportunity offered to writers now than ever before. All of that matters in establishing a writing career. But, none of the questions surrounding promotion of writers and writing matter at all without the writer sitting down and actually doing the writing.

Deciding whether you want to work primarily online or in print really doesn't matter if you don't have the word count to show for it.

Have a safe Fourth.