The private writer goes public

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

At the Guardian, Ben Myers writes about the necessity of giving public readings. These days, it isn't enough to be a brilliant writer (don't I know!), you have to shamelessly promote yourself online and yes, appear in public. Myers admits that's not for him:

I can't explain my own aversion. I've been on live radio and numerous television programmes and can hold my own in conversation with tramps, toffs and rock stars alike, so I know I'm not shy, but reading something so personal as my own work? No. I would genuinely rather jiggle my bare genitals at an audience than do that. In fact, I'm available for bookings. Maybe not children's parties though.

At least he has a line on a way to make money. But when "being a writer" increasingly means doing it on the side as an elaborate hobby while you curse your day job, when do you have time for self-promotion? And what if you just don't want to? Are you doomed to the obscurity of your tear-stained college-rule notebook?