A few days ago, I came across the following quote, copied and pasted it into a document, and forgot about it. Today, I remembered it as I was struggling to come to terms with the hurdles of having a work of fiction out in the viewing public. The quote is this:
“A good workman can’t be a cheap workman; he can’t be stingy about wasting material, and he cannot compromise. Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand–a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods–or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.”
Willa Cather, “On the Art of Fiction” (1920)
I’d like to think my writing is art. Maybe just that, deciding that’s how I see it, makes it so. I’m not sure. But, what I do know about this: fretting about something out of my control is never useful, or helpful, or good for my mental health. Aiming to make art is.
All I hope is that there’s room for my art in the world. Please, please, powers-that-be, let there be room for my art in this world.