The Opposite of Last

This is a thought different from my last post on likes. It is spawned from Francine Prose in her book  Reading Like a Writer (page 10). “Each of us will meet a different harbinger of personal failure, some innocent genius (writer) chosen by us for reasons having to do with what we see as our own inadequacies. The only remedy to this I have found is to read a writer whose work is entirely different from another, though not necessarily more like your own-a difference that will remind you of how many rooms there are in the house of art.” 

Me liking this should uncover for you how fickle I can be. Having just settled on reading books that have a sound I recognize, I am back to exploring differences. I am finding, but constantly debating, the proposition that differences in writing and life make the world go round. It is what makes tyrants fearful and writer’s write. 

In a past life I was a salesman and in my case a door opener. I flew about the country opening doors for the services I represented. I could do this. I succeeded. Enough to believe that I had found the way. Had I thought about writing then, I would have supposed I could write a book to teach everyone my secret way. 

It would not have been a successful book. Later I learned that there are many ways to open doors and I can learn from each of them. 



6 thoughts on “The Opposite of Last

  1. David Kanigan November 10, 2013 / 6:08 am

    Great post. There are many ways to open doors…

    • fictionfitz November 10, 2013 / 6:38 am

      Thanks David, it takes work to learn.

  2. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist November 10, 2013 / 6:56 am

    Yes, there are many rooms in the house of art and many ways of opening the doors. I am reading at the moment a book written in the voice of a fifteen year old child with some kind of autism. The voice is totally believable, unlike anything I have read before and the story is good. I doubt that the writer has autism so he is writing in a voice not his own and it is working well. I guess the more you examine the differences the more you can experiment and trial different techniques. I don’ think you should think of failure when you read some-one great – there will be just as many people that don’t like that voice but like yours.
    I think I have waffled on long enough without saying anything.

    • fictionfitz November 10, 2013 / 7:06 am

      You have said much valuable, but in one instance, not enough. What is the name of the book you are enjoying?

      • Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist November 10, 2013 / 7:27 am

        The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It is actually written for teenagers but it has certainly got me in.

  3. neonwalrus November 10, 2013 / 9:56 am

    The learning I have done, do, will (regrettably) continue to do is to learn from each door closed to me; too oft slammed in my face.

    However, the book you did not write while successfully opening doors would likely have been a success. People looking for easy ways to win are attracted to those who speak of easy ways to win.

    Writers, so sadly, are winners without the permeating eau of outward success. Thus finding an audience behind closed doors is a difficult road to travel.

Comments are closed.