Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Four lies the internet tells you about writing


Yes it's true – the internet lies to you. It poses as an oracle but spouts vacuities. It promises knowledge and delivers platitudes. It offers an audience but gives nothing but loneliness. It hints at success but smacks you with despair. But worst than all that, it can make you believe the following.

You are a brand

You thought you were a person, a unique snowflake with a distinct and idiosyncratic view on the world. In actuality you're just a brand - like a roll-on deodorant. It doesn't matter about quality; it doesn't matter about vision or voice or art or craft. No passion. No love. No wrestling with demons of doubt and truth. No late nights staring at empty pages, words bleeding from your fingertips like sweated blood. No carving through inanities with the broadsword of truth. None of that. You just need to be a powerful and recognisable brand that suggests all those things. Then you'll have a career.

Right.

Your writing is a product

Like toilet-cleaner or cat-litter – your writing is just a product. Utilitarian. No need to aspire to greatness, to delve deep into yourself to discover empathetic and universal insights into the human condition. Your work is just a unit-shifter, a money-maker – standardised, compartmentalised, marketed. An agent or editor hasn't got time to judge your work by its merit, they need to be able to quickly label it in the context of the current market – are you the next Larsson? The next Rowling? The next King? If not, fuck off.

Right.

Your audience is a platform

Not individuals, but a mob – in fact not even a mob – a group of people dehumanised to the point where they are no more that just a stage from which you can propel your career. How engaging. How understanding. How perceptive. A platform? That's right, a lump of concrete that will recognise your brand and buy your product by the truck-load.

Social media is essential

So you can connect with other tossers who tell you that you are a brand, that your work is product to be sold to your platform.

That's enough of that - get out there and mix it up with the real big, bad, ugly human-race.

Oh yeah, and you're all snowflakes to me.

6 comments:

  1. Brilliant. Marketing has reduced us all to a commodity. Where's the art? We're not factories, cranking out a new widget. I *HATE* with my hottest hate the idea of being a "brand."

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  2. Loved the searing writing and the searing truths. Thank you for writing this so passionately.

    P.S. I love being a snowflake. Thanks for that :~)

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  3. @Debra - no, thank you for taking the time to comment

    @D.D we're of the same mind

    @Boonies Chick - thanks for reading and commenting - I'm glad you're enjoying the blog

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  4. I have enjoyed reading your blog so much that I have awarded you the Liebster Blog Award! This is reserved for the Top-5 blogs I have enjoyed!

    To accept the reward, go to my site, www.thefictionhole.com to see what I had to say about the reward and why I selected you as one of my Top-5.

    Congratulations!

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  5. Thanks, Jay. Really appreciate the support - have been over to your site and left a comment which I'm sure you've read by now. Thanks you.

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