To read or to write
Confining ourselves to the world of published fiction, let us ask the question: Are there more readers than writers in this world? One would imagine that indeed would be the case. As in many fields of activity, consumers outnumber producers. As there are readers who consume voraciously, there must be writers who write prolifically. Well, is there some kind of a demand-supply thing going on here? Despite the fact that thousands of books don’t become bestsellers and thousands are complete flops, it is fair to assume that there is no one reader who can claim to have read all the books he has wanted to read and to be waiting for more books to get written. We only hear of devoted readers complaining about not being able to find enough time when it comes to the pursuit of their favourite pastime.
Amidst all this writing and reading that is going on endlessly, it is interesting to see that aspiring writers are encouraged by published authors who share their own experiences of toil and success and pass on insights into style, cultivation of the habit to write and many other useful suggestions. In a sense, the published authors that offer such inspiration and help do so selflessly, perhaps in a spirit of welcoming likeminded souls into their special space, thus creating competition for themselves. This is a wonderfully satisfying situation.
Alongside this aspiration to be a writer, let’s place the pleasure of the reader. Keen and passionate readers find immense enjoyment and satisfaction in reading their favourite authors and favourite genres. And when these readers, at least say some of them, contemplate or toy with the idea of taking up writing, would they go ahead and do it? Would they be prepared to accept the diminishment of the time that they will have at their disposal and hence the reduction in their reading and the ensuing pleasure, not to speak of the sacrifices that attend upon their occupying the writer’s chair, which is not as comfortable as the reader’s?
As an intense and habitual reader, if you feel a compulsion to write, what would you do?