Researching the earliest forms of writing for a new project, it was comforting to discover that the earliest wordsmith was also up against it, trying to get his point across. In his case, most of his formative years were spent mastering the extremely complex Cuneiform script or Egyptian hieroglyphs before he could even think about applying stylus to wax tablet.
The biggest headache facing his modern equivalent of simply trying to convince someone willing to publish his opus magnum seemed almost pale in comparison!
However, the ancient scribe was nothing if not inventive. Living hand to mouth, he wasn’t at all bashful about canvassing a wealthy patron for support, since his life literally depended upon it! At least he had something to offer, because his skill was in sufficiently short supply, whereas in today’s highly literate world there are so many books with different subjects to select from, that demand couldn’t keep up even if it wanted to!
Then there’s question of the audience for such works, limited in times gone by to private recitals, that’s provided one’s face fitted and had the right connections.
Today, the Internet has created access to a worldwide, but largely anonymous public at a mere push of a button on computer, assuming you know what buttons to push!
Another strange phenomenon, specific to the modern author, is in his choice of occupation. That it is accompanied with an expectation of making a success of something that no one asked him to do in the first place. That doesn’t appear to make becoming an author the most well thought out of pursuits.
However, it’s not a totally lost cause, because what our contemporary writer has most in common with his predecessor is a built up resilience to disappointment and a dogged determination to keep going, especially when the odds are stacked against him!
John Steinberg© 2021