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Friday, 13 April 2012

It's No Longer Enough Just To Write...Bad News For The Socially - And Tech-Challenged!

I wrote about this a little while ago - being sick and tired of the extraneous shit now involved in creative writing. Well, I'm going to write about it again now. But this time I'm going to say how I really feel.

I'm sick of it.

I have always - always - enjoyed the creative process of dreaming up stories and putting them down in writing. That's what I do. Like every other person who writes, I need an editor to troubleshoot my scribblings. Hey, that's a given, and it's always been part-and-parcel of writing, one thing that I accept.

What I am not, and never will be, is a techie, or even someone who remotely enjoys computer-related stuff. It took me a fucking decade to master Microsoft Works in its simplest form. I'm not suddenly switching to Microsoft Office 2010, or whatever snazzy application is today's buzzword in writing tools...A writing tool to me is still a pen. And no, I don't care if OpenOffice is what the publisher uses and I can't access it from my Stone Age machine. So be it.

Computers scare me. There. I said it.

I don't have a handy-dandy army of tech-savvy folks surrounding me in my everyday life. And I'm not likely to be running out and making chums with any soon either. People scare me almost as much as computers do ( almost ). As for 'online assistance'... however well-intentioned it may be, it leaves me in much the same position i.e. completely baffled and scared.

So, because I'm not a bang-up-to-date whizzy-gadgety type who drools over all the latest apps, I may lose my publishing contracts, and any chance of ever being published in future. And you know what?

I don't give a flying fuck.

I never thought the day would ever come that I'd give up on publishing. I most certainly didn't think it would happen not because I stopped being able to write, but because the world has become a technology-obsessed place in which I, frankly, have no place and want no part.

It's bad enough that every writer today has to be a super-savvy social media maven, ready and willing to exploit every online hangout from Facebook to Google+, able to divide themselves and their time, their home life, work, kids, dogs, and oh yeah, their writing, between each of these. You also have to be: a cover designer; an editor, a proofreader; au fait with The Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk & White, and every other self-appointed fucking expert's "style bible". Oh yeah, and you have to be versed in how to manage Kindle, and Nook, and Createspace...oh wait, if you live in the UK, you can forget Createspace because it doesn't give a shit about anyone hasn't got either a US bank account or who doesn't live in a country where the $ is currency.

And let's not even get into the snobbery of the writing community ( and I use the term 'community' in its most fluid sense ). You thought it was bad before, when all you had was traditional publishing? Pfft! Now you have indie authors sniping at self-published authors, and authors holding out for traditional publishing sniping at indie authors, and oh yeah, this indie publisher says they're better than that indie publisher, and...crap! My head hurts. Think it's better if you're with a traditional / mainstream publisher? Oh you naive fool! I hope you've got a good supply of Chapstick in, because your lips are gonna need it after you've done ass-kissing. The price of being with the "family" of a publisher...Pucker up, kiddo! All that "support" from your publishing family comes at a price - oh, wait - what? You thought it was free? unconditional? Uh huh.

I don't want to do it anymore. Oh, I want to write. I just don't want to publish. Because the stress of publishing is ruining the joy of writing for me. And if there is no joy in it, what's the fucking point? 

Pretty much sums up how I feel about publishing these days