An August Light in July

For several months I have read the daily postings of a literary agent. Often she invites guests to blog in her place. This morning’s guest wrote about the difference between literary fiction and entertainment fiction. My interest was piqued with the first sentence and mounted as I read the entire piece. It was the encouragement I needed at precisely the point I needed it. Serious writers and readers still have a place in the conversation of the literary world.

By the time I was finished reading, my quandary about publishing had become insignificant. My focus has been fuzzy because I was fixating on the wrong goal. How and where to publish is not the question. The real question is how serious of a writer can I become?

How serious of writer can I become? As I contemplate that question I think that perhaps it is linked to the question, “How serious of a reader am I?” As I explored in my previous post, My English Ear, I was raised on quality literature. As I review the books I have read over the years I see my exposure to different genre is wider than I thought. When I think about the books I remember enjoying at different stages of my life and my reaction to them as I re-read them in later years, I realize how I matured as a reader. I have also been surprised when I find an interest in a book I had disdained in my younger days.

I have no illusions that I wish to, or could,  join Faulkner at the level of The Sound and the Fury, at the same time I want to rise above much of the popular entertainment that is available and prolific. What and where my level is, that is what I must explore. My promise to spend July researching where and how to publish is pushed from the summer’s list. Until I know and understand what kind of a writer I am, publishing is a moot point. One of William Faulkner’s characters from his book, A Light in August, states repeatedly, “I have come a fur piece.” Looking back on my first writing goal as simply sustaining a quantity of words so have I “come a fur piece.” I also see I have a “fur piece” yet to travel.

Some may see my altered focus as an excuse to shy away from a difficult process, right now I see it as A Light in August before I leave July.

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