Today I was reading a Substack about Canadian publishing versus U.S. publishing, and it turns out that Canada heavily subsidizes its literary fiction with huge grants, mostly not available in the U.S.
That writer< Kenneth Whyte, recommended a Substack Great Reads By John Biggs and I had a minute, so I checked it out. There Biggs recommended a new documentary about Jason Isbell. In it, apparently, Jason says that writing is like us saying, “Will you listen to what my life is like? And let’s compare.”
Will you listen to what my life is like? And let’s compare.
I like that. I don’t think it gets to the massive power of stories, but it’s a start.
If you’re struggling with why people would want to read you as a writer, then think about what I just said to you—stories help us empathize, stories change the world, stories matter. And also ponder Jason’s words—stories let us know what your life is like, so we can compare ours to it. You can teach us what you know that we haven’t realized yet.
We don’t have time for self-doubt. The world is on fire. Just get the first word down.