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Mail bag

Monday 10/28/19

Going through the website emails. Some really beautiful letters came in about the Lou Gehrig WSJ piece. A couple of them just about made me cry. One person said it was the most beautiful piece of sports writing they had ever read in their life. A woman wrote me something about her daughter with Asperger's, and a man wrote something about his wife who was recently diagnosed with MLS and how the piece helped him, and it was just, well, stopped me in my day. Got this as well:

"Hello Colin, I’ve read a few of your short stories and they are cool. Just wondered what your article about Wells Tower was about. It came across as pathetic and infantile and after that I though you were a sad bastard. Don’t really understand your decision on bitching on another writer. But best of luck, looking forward to your novel."

My response:

"I didn't write an article on Wells Tower. Tower is an awful writer who encapsulates everything wrong with publishing, the ultimate anti-meritocracy. What do you like about Tower's writing? The canned MFA moves? The pretentiousness? His inability to even produce more of what he does, rote as it is? What it seems to me that you are doing is taking this tack that writing is hard, and all must be a clap, no matter how insincere, upon the back, and that is how a bad, bigoted system, which has killed off reading, made it obsolete, is perpetuated. It was not, as you put it, "bitching on"--that's not how that preposition works--another writer, it was a truth-based, reasoned, post on a blog about a bad writer who bilks a bad system. Why does it offend you? Rhetorical questions. You seem like a nice person--though contacting a stranger to call them a name doesn't seem highly productive to me, and one could lob the charge that that is infantile--and I simply wanted to give you a response, given that you were thoughtful enough to take the time with me. All best, Colin"


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