Every writer worries about being liked. And as a writer I confess to this psychological problem. Nobody wants to be hated, do they? But perhaps they should. Perhaps writers should forget about sentiment and aim for an audience that would hate them.
This seems a ridiculous proposition, but think about it a moment. The job of a writer is to entertain and inform. But it is also to create controversy. After all, if you’re not noticed no one will read you and you can neither entertain nor inform.
There is a mantra that all publicity is good publicity, and this is very true. There is nothing worse than no publicity at all, for you have not reached an audience, and this is usually because you have not aroused emotion.
This is the key to good writing. There is nothing worse than not causing emotion. Indifference, you see, is death. And there is one way you know you’ve made it – when people declare they hate you. Because for everyone who hates your work, there is another who loves it.
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