Monday, July 18, 2011

Gluttony Of Words

An expurgated version of a blog post by Damien G. Walter; partially explains why I stopped writing.
Oh please GOD no STOP writing! (so much)

There’s a terrible meme emerging from the internet writing community. It arises from good intentions and common sense, and it is utterly wrong.
You can see this meme at work in the debate around publishing a book a year. You can see it in the 50,000 word a month culture of NaNoWriMo. And you can see it in the commonly held wisdom that if, as a writer, you can just get your name out there in front of readers enough, you will eventually achieve fame and fortune.
You won’t.
(Also, you can see it in the perpetuated foolish notion that a writer should write every day, regardless.)
Many writers seem determined to become their own worst source of signal interference on the channel between their work and those people who might be interested in their work.
Part of the problem here seems to be the belief that writers are part of the entertainment industry. Writers are as much part of entertainment industry as doctors are part of the pharmaceutical industry. The latter’s job is to make product from which they make money. The former’s job is to heal people.
But writers are not factory workers.
The rules of the protestant work ethic don’t apply to writing.
We’ve all grown up in a world where marketing was a thing done to the masses. This approach has never worked for writers. It doesn’t work so well for Mars and Coca-Cola any more.
Writers who try and flood the market with a book a year, or four books a year, or a short story a month, or a short story a day, or whatever, are attempting to apply the dynamics of mass marketing to a niche audience. It’s absurd and counter-productive.

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