Writing is not a democracy

George R.R. Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones saga, once said that writing is not a democratic process. Faced with a  tremendous success of his saga, he confessed to being inundated with requests of those readers who wanted to write a chapter, change a story line, kill a character, create a character, add a silver or less noble line of meaning, interpret, reinterpret, delete a part of, add to, magnify, make it in some way miniscule, or in general, change the story he wrote, into something they would have, had they actually written it in the first place. In some empty diner. On some lonely Sunday.

Writing is not a democracy. Make your own choices.

Writing is not a democracy. Make your own choices.

Writing, alas, Martin reminded us, should be left to writers. Writing choices are their own to make. Writing is not a democratic pursuit of everyone’s happiness but an act of personal expression. It is open to interpretation but not manipulation. It is  not a crowd-sourced experience at all costs. So, if you are working on your art, alone and patiently and silly and in your antiquated way…go on, and write what you want. Exactly the way you want it. Writing is not a democracy.

One comment

  1. Wow – it surprises me that such a famous author (or in fact any author!) would be inundated with requests to change their stories – perhaps because it would never even occur to me to make such a request!

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