Writer’s Desk: Write for Yourself, First

catcher-in-the-rye-red-coverIn 1974, J.D. Salinger broke 20-plus years of silence to talk to a reporter about, in part, unauthorized editions of his work that had been appearing. One of the literary world’s most famous curmudgeons, Salinger didn’t have much use for the apparatus of publicity and publishing. And why should he? Catcher in the Rye and his short stories had made him famous and wealthy at a relatively early age.

He told Lacey Fosburgh:

There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It’s peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy.

That’s to be expected from the man many saw, unfairly or not, as a not-so-grown-up Holden Caulfield.

Less so is what followed:

I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.

It’s not a bad piece of non-advice. After all, if you don’t like what you’re writing, it’s more than likely nobody else will, either.

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