Should Writers Write for Themselves or Others?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story by Chris Kubica outlines a future for books in which they are not physical objects, but relational databases. The, argues Kubica, enables the writer to open up the text and unlock the information inside, allowing the reader to engage more fully — and even participate — in the growth and development of the book. It is a future where books are “neverending” texts that integrate the experiences of the readers themselves, giving readers a genuine role to play in the life of the book.

Jed Perl in his recent article for The New Republic, “Alone, With Words” argues quite the opposite, suggesting that though technology has all but disintermediated the experience of writing from reading, “writing, for the writer, ought to have a freestanding value, a value apart from the reader.”

What do you think? Read our lead article (the first part of a three part exclusive series) and Perl’s piece, and let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.