Warning: Rant Ahead
There's an interview with Bill Bryson in the January 2007 issue of The Writer. I love his books, so I started reading the article with great anticipation, soaking up his words and storing them for future reference. I even felt a sense of encouragement when he mentioned that all published writers started as unknowns. Then this sentence, addressed to the unpublished, had me skidding to a halt: "You have a much better chance of becoming a published author than, say, a major league baseball player."
A major league ball player, a nationally known nightly news anchor, a Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, countless actresses and actors -- all have a better chance of being published than I do. And indeed, all were published before I will ever be.
[Karen kindly and gently pointed out that I just might have misinterpreted Bill Bryson's comment; i.e. that it would be easier for me to get published than for someone to become a major league baseball player. My apologies to Mr. Bryson! But I still get worked up about celebs "writing" books.]
Oh, I know the publishing companies are just trying to make a profit, and big names mean big bucks. But, dammit, it makes me mad. Writing is hard. And every time a celebrity goes on Good Morning America touting her latest bestseller, I feel as if every moment I spend in front of my computer, carefully crafting, thinking, and creating is futile.
I try to shrug it off with "Oh, well. She didn't really write the book herself" or "The poor copy editor must have had her work cut out for her." And to be honest, it hasn't stopped me from writing. It hasn't dashed my dreams. But sometimes I wonder if maybe I need to adjust my career path. I'm sure Simon & Schuster would snap up a book by the first female major league baseball player. I think Academy Sports has baseball gloves on sale this week...
Celebrities as authors: What do you think?