I’m already tinkering with a few new short story ideas, and a couple novels, and in the process, ran into the question of my own mortality, so to speak. I don’t labor under the illusion that anyone’s going to be reading a Clayton Snyder book in fifty or a hundred years, but I wondered what kind of shelf life my stories do have. I’ve never been one to pretend there’s something epic there, something that addresses the human condition in beautiful prose, or something that deals with deep themes or critical archetypes. You know, the things that give a book the sort of lifespan Methuselah could respect. I guess when it boils down to it, I only have three requirements for my stories:
- Did I enjoy writing it?
- Did someone enjoy reading it?
- Did I tell a good story?
Those are the things I care about. If you get something else out of my stories, fantastic. Maybe I’m one of those rare and lucky writers, whose subconscious writes all the themes and symbolism for him. Maybe I’m just a schmuck with a keyboard and a hobby I love more than pizza. (You have no idea – it’s pathological.)
I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for those writers who inspired me to be a writer. Those whose work transcends time and culture barriers, and pick at the deep-seated strings of important truths for us. I’m just not that writer. Not today, anyways.
I just hope that maybe, in three weeks, three months, or maybe just three years from now, someone new is picking up my work and burning away an afternoon with me.