Mark Twain, always good for a clever quip, once said, "It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech." You may laugh, but this quote brings up a curious point:
Why do some writers allow lesser work to stand in for what could be so much more? Why aren't their wrenches, rulers, and hammers ... the instruments of the writer's toolbox ... painstakingly applied?
There is a great deal of trust between authors and their readers that can be easily destroyed by careless writing. Most readers will not endure this sort of abuse for very long. They don't have to.
There are libraries and bookshops replete with excellent writing that never settled for, "Its good enough," composed by writers who strove ardently, warranting the readership they aspired to, and achieved.
I cringe when I notice my own laziness, and especially so when someone else points it out to me. It offends my stance on diligence, and my ego, and rightly so. I have cheated my reader and myself.
Had I deliberated over the perfect word, the most poignant phrase, with which to elucidate the vagaries my thoughts, rather than allow the work to slide by, that poem would have come into its own.
Is this why some books languish, unread, for years in bookshops, in libraries, and on the ever expansive internet? Does unpolished writing lead automatically to obscurity? I'm of a mind that it does.
In the literary atmosphere of today, everyone is a poet: prose and free verse have deemed it so. Where lackluster novels abound, anyone can be an author. The scepter is now available to all comers.
A brilliantly faceted diamond will always catch the eye when it sits in a field of haphazardly strewn, unrefined coal. Is it the gleam of the gem that causes notice, or its dull surroundings? Perhaps it's both.