I was recently reading through my newest copy of the Writer's Market fo rnew literary journals worth submitting to, and I came across a very curious line written by a well-established literary journal.
"Artists should support artists. Based on the number of submissions we receive, we're assuming there's still a strong interest in fiction."
You'd think that, wouldn't you? Only, it really isn't a very realistic assumption to make. Because in my experience working with writers, it doesn't seem like there's a connection at all. In fact, the number of writers who contact me for editing help very rarely admit to reading anything other than the daily paper or a few Web sites.
I even came across this little tidpit in a recently published novel, right in the introduction, no less: "My friends have always said I write good emails, so I decided to write a book."
The book--surprise!--was horribly written.
It's difficult to read, I know, but it's important. Not just because reading a lot can help your writing skills, but it's also important to support other writers. Think of the publishing world as a localized economy. By putting some money into the writing economy, you're putting money into another writer's pocket. That writer, intending to get better, is going to put money into another writer's product. Fiction will be written, purchased and enjoyed just as it was meant to be.
Start small. Subscribe to a literary journal. Then, once you've found a few writers you really like, buy their books. SUPPORT them. If every person trying to write a book actually purchased a book, the writing world would be much richer (in a lot of different ways).