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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Humiliations of Book Flogging

     Writers can only moan to each other about all this, really: the humiliating reading to an audience of two, the book signing where nobody turns up, the talk where the only question is "Where did you buy your nail varnish?" Nobody is really going to care, are they, if we sit alone and unloved beside our pile of books, approached only once in the two hours by a woman who tried to flog her manuscript…

     Humiliation, though one of a writer's specialties, is not an entirely unknown sensation to everybody else. We do expose ourselves, of course, by offering up our work to the world's critical stare, or, worse, its indifference. It's what we sign up for: that people give up their money and  their precious time to read about characters who have never existed. And there's a price to pay for this chutzpah.

Deborah Moggach in Mortification edited by Robin Robertson, 2004 

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