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24 October 2012

Maximize your way to Hell

I was thinking today about the glut of things out there that can, somehow, if you use them correctly, make it so that every second of your day is productive. Make it so that people will take photos of you at various times of the day and insert them into PowerPoint presentations on how to be frikin' awesome. Yeah, if you will just download one more app you can not only solve the world's problems you can reduce the number of tissue squares required to wipe.
This occurred to me as I was reading a blog and then another blog about social networking and being the writer of today.

So, take this for what it's worth. I am well aware that I haven't made it to the NY Bestseller's List. I am not a household name. As Chris Farley would say, "Maybe I don't 'own a toothbrush,' and maybe I can't 'reach all the parts of my body,'" but I do have an opinion about this.

I'm sick of being told that the day of the writer lost in his study is over. Apparently, writers should keep a list of to-do's about a hundred to-do's long and only one of those to-do's should be writing.


I'm not disputing that a person who is smart about social networking, a person who throws a broad net every time his or her latest book hits the bookstores, is going to catch a lot of fish. I don't even think that's debatable. But with all those to-do's, I just think that on some level . . . your writing's going to suck.

In the old days a writer did the writing thing and he found an agent to do all the soul-sucking stuff. Electronic publishing has come and shaken up the industry for sure. I get that. But why are we as writers okay with the fact that this sea change has put us in the position of doing stuff that sucks our souls. Doesn't it make sense that if you willingly allow your soul to be sucked that your writing will suffer?

Writers should all just say no to marketing. Done by their hand at least. Hide your writing efforts, I say. Dare the reading proletariat to find your writing. I think any self-respecting writer of the 21st century should take his novel, throw it in a cave, stand at the cave mouth with a gun, and shoot anyone who tries to get in.

We have suffered for our work. Our readers should suffer too. Don't make it too easy for them to find you.  Say no to all things associated with the term outreach.

Stand and be heard! It's a brave new world.