I haven’t written this in a while, because I don’t believe in publishing just for the sake of publishing and I don’t think I have your readership or attention as a given. If I’ve written a blog and it’s not relevant or entertaining, it goes straight in the bin. I may have said this before.
The problem is, if you’re writing a blog about one subject, and you don’t have any new experiences or opinions related to it, you have nothing to write about. I write about writing and about self-publishing. I haven’t been doing any writing lately, so it’s all been about the self-publishing. Self-Publishing is a murky world, to say the least. It’s full of shady types, who somehow publish four ‘books’ a year, and use phrases like ‘wild abandon‘, ‘shady types‘ and ‘to say the least‘ with wild abandon. Like any art (as opposed to a real job) the people who are awful at it far outweigh the people who are any good. And unlike a real job, the awful ones can become relatively successful on the back of the right connections and a wave of pretentiousness. This cannot happen in a real job. I’ve never had someone recommend a plumber to me who was shit at plumbing, but they admired the ironic, stylized way that he twisted his wrench.
Relative success and real success are fine though. If you are bothered by how well someone else is doing at what you do, you are jealous. There’s no other word for what you are being (other than ‘cunt’, maybe). If someone sells twenty million books without being a good writer, that’s not a travesty; it’s a success story. They lucked out, and we didn’t. Good for them. No one is actually forcing us to read their books. I’ve done all the jokes about Fifty Shades of Grey, but at no point have I not wished the woman well. She’s not taking money out of my pocket, or yours. That’s another thing rife in the world of writing: intellectual snobbery. And it’s quite incorrect and unnecessary. Because just because the prose in Twilight and FSOG is a bit silly, it doesn’t mean that everyone who reads them is. No more than it means grown men who watch gymnastics are paedophiles, or anyone who likes WWE is a gay.
Books have been for the masses for a long, long time. Pretty much ever since literacy became A Thing. Plenty of the books that we consider ‘classics’ today, were derided as populist nonsense in their day. Or worse, as vile pornography. My own book is (I’d like to think) vile, populist, pornography nonsense. It’s actually not; it’s actually a bit clever. But I didn’t just write it for Clever People. I wrote it for everyone. People who loved Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey won’t pick my book up and then fling their Kindle at the wall, screaming ‘NOOOOO! I CAN’T WORDS IT! AM IT TWO COMPELCATED!!!!’. Of course they won’t. They’ll enjoy it the same as they enjoy any book that they like, or they’ll dislike it the same as any book that they don’t. Taste doesn’t have an IQ level. I enjoy far more frivolous music and films than I do Actual Serious Brilliant ones. Fuck da po-lice, I say. In the whitest way possible.
The men and women of the past who wrote the heavy literary tomes that torment school children today were not professional authors. They were rich, lazy fucks who lived off Daddy’s estate and occasionally put quill to parchment for the benefit of a relatively tiny bunch of readers. It’s often by sheer luck or coincidence that their work survives today. Equally, there were people writing masterpieces back then that none of us will ever read, for similar if contrasting reasons.
There are no such problems today of course. No, your sixteen volume saga of Underage Gay Love On Mars will exist on Amazon.com until the sun actually supernovas, and by then you might even have sold it to someone whose womb you didn’t fall out of.
Buy the book, btw! Now available on Nook!