Success That Writers Crave

A few years ago, I posted a couple times in reaction to an article in the Washington Post. Not to beat a dead horse, but I have a bit more to say.

The article was written by Cynthia McCabe, who was e-mailed by a man, a complete stranger, announcing his intention to commit suicide. The reasons this man gave were that he, as a writer, had “said everything I wanted to say and consider my work finished.”

In my posts, I take issue with McCabe’s inability to relate to the man’s situation. Specifically, I found it strangely insensitive that a fellow writer could not sympathize with that man’s desire to have his writing read, and in that way find some measure of community that understood him.

Instead, McCabe’s article calls the man narcissistic and selfish, perpetrating an emotional mugging.

Narcissistic, just for wanting some success in his writing career. Success that all writers crave at some level, right?

In case further proof were needed, the latest magazine and course catalog from my local writers’ center includes a piece by a writer named Anu Altankhuyag, who has this to say:

I knew I wanted to continue writing as more than a hobby. I wanted to one day be able to walk through a bookstore and see my name on the shelf. Every writer does.

Including, one would assume, Cynthia McCabe. But seeing that desire in a fellow writer was too much to ask.

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6 thoughts on “Success That Writers Crave

  1. I don’t think Kathy (Dennis) was a narcissist. He felt he was saying something important and wanted to share it. In life, he was a kind and giving person.
    (By the way, the link to the original post did not open for me.)

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