The other day I read a terribly bland book by an author I’ve previously enjoyed. (I’d rather not name the book or the author.) The book was remarkably unremarkable.
It reminded me that even the best strike out now and then. You have to evaluate someone by their best work, not their worst. If someone produces one masterpiece and a dozen clunkers, then they’ve produced a masterpiece. And that puts them ahead of people who crank out nothing but inoffensive mediocrities.
I also thought about how the author is likely to make a lot of money off his terrible book. That’s oddly encouraging. Even when you put out a clunker, not everyone will think it’s a clunker. It’s not necessary to do great work in order to make money, though doing great work is more satisfying.