Is writing this book a waste of time?

August 6th, 2014 by Bob Bly

Anne Fernald, an English professor at Fordham, has spent 10 years — that’s right, a full decade — working on a scholarly edition of the Virginia Woolf novel “Mrs. Dalloway” … and she’s not even done yet.

Mind you, she’s not writing a novel. Virginia Wolf wrote it in 1925. All she is doing is annotating it with footnotes.

When I read about this in the 3/31/14 issue of The Christian Science Monitor, I had 2 immediate reactions.

First, 10 years to annotate an already written book? Seriously?

And second, who on the planet aside from a few scholars and Woolfaholics would read what sounds to be a really boring book like that?

I ask because there is a broader question: With so many books on just about every conceivable topic under the sun already out, should you and I even bother to write yet another book on one of these subjects?

For instance, it almost causes me physical pain when someone sends me a new marketing book with a request to review … because I know without looking that, with rare exception, it’s just the same old thing already done to the death in hundreds of other books.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 10:31 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 responses about “Is writing this book a waste of time?”

  1. Dorian Wodners said:

    Writers often hesitate about the assessment of their stories, articles, etc. I always encourage my colleagues from writers’ house that they shouldn’t think about writing as a waste of time. That’s not so, of course. Every paper is a unique communication tool with a reader.

  2. jack said:

    awesome read. there r still some people who prefer books over kindle.

  3. nancy said:

    i will keep writing books until i die. read more here:

Leave a Reply