Thursday, June 12, 2014

When writing is the sickness and the cure: the rise of "Stay Lit"

I’ve known from a very early age that choosing to go down the “writer” path would be a decision supplemented with questions, stares, and worried expressions from my friends and family. There is much consensus that writing for a living is akin to being poor for a living or being a professional gambler—and while this might often be the case, is there no upside? Is novel-writing, itself, doomed?

While there is no denying that times are changing and that writers must be willing to adapt to technological and social revolutions, those who wish to pursue a life of imagination and creativity at the keyboard should realize that they are not alone. Those who are adamant have stuck with the field despite fiscal difficulty. In fact, there has been an emergence of what some term “Stay Lit”, a seemingly new genre specifically about sticking with writing, despite hardship. For many other pen-wielders, this writing has proved inspirational.
In an essay recently published on The Rumpus, the novelist Russell Rowland describes being dropped by his agent after years of underwhelming books sales and dwindling advances, the most recent in the two figures. These disappointments weigh on him: “Every time I get my royalty statements, which come every six months, my resolve gets tested in ways that sometimes take weeks to overcome.” Yet he keeps coming back: “The desire to write, it seems, is a sickness for which there is no cure. Except writing.”
At Prestwick House, we also aim to inspire and keep the passion for writing alive. We have many resources that can help improve a student’s writing, including…
Editor's Note: This blog post was written by Prestwick House intern Andrew Sommers.

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