I saw an advertisement for a ghostwriter for several erotica stories. What? He can't write his own sex scenes? If I understand it correctly, erotica is all about graphic sex and not much else. So if this guy needs a ghost writer who is willing to write the sex part, what exactly is he writing?
I admit I don't understand the erotica thing anyway. Heaven know it sells, but then there's always been a good market for pornography. What I don't get is why a professional writer would consider turning out this trash. Money, of course, probably a great deal of it. However, the fact that most of these writers use a pen name rather than their real name tells me how proud they are of their work. It's not like it requires a large vocabulary and I doubt the reader cares about whether you've used the correct syntax, as long as you've thrown vulgarity and swear words in every other sentence, and what they read makes them doubt the quality of their own love life. It's not hard to appeal to our baser instincts.
So much of what we read, see on TV, and listen to on the radio is about sex. Not love, not finding someone to share your life with, just sex. A very popular song with teenagers today is about drinking too much, dancing on tables, skinny dipping and then having sex with people they don't know, and doing it again every Friday night while making it all sound like great fun. No mention of the possibility of AIDS, STD, or even pregnancy and a hundred other possibilities. TV programs and movies have people ripping each other's clothes off after the first date. That's lust, not love and not the basis of a lasting relationship.
Then I watched the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables. What a wonderful story about love and sacrifice, no swear words or sex scenes. In fact, the most moving part is about the unselfish love of a father for his adopted daughter. To say the music is incredible would be an understatement. It fills you with joy and a desire to be a better person. To me, that's what literature, music, and art should do.
I have no illusions about my ability to write a classic, but I want to be proud of what I do write, stories where good prevails over evil, and the reader comes away feeling good about themselves and life in general.