Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Crazies

I’m a writer. I have a number of friends who are writers, and an even larger number of acquaintances who are writers. There are a lot of us.

Unfortunately, these days, the nation seems to be packed cheek by jowl with “writers”. Everyone once wanted to be a writer. And now it seems as if everyone is a “writer”. Unfortunately, almost none of these folk bother to develop any skills, and the new world of self-published ebooks has been loosed upon the marketplace like a flesh-eating bacterial pandemic.

Initially I wondered what made all of these horrible people want to try to push their worthless stuff onto the rest of us. What could motivate these subnormals? At first I was truly mystified in a naïve sort of way. Because why would you publish this kind of awful material if you weren’t crazy?

Finally, of course, I realized that it’s all based on an unhealthy form of narcissism and that these people are crazy. Yes, this is a type of insanity and it’s running like Captain Trips through the world of publishing and seems as though it will be some kind of extinction event, just as that fictional disease was portrayed brilliantly by Mr. King.

I now meet people casually who tell me that they are writers. When this first began to occur I would ask them who published their work, until I found that every single time I asked this question the answer was that they were all self-published. So I stopped asking. To this date I have yet to read a single self-published work that is not absolutely awful in every way. (And I admit that I stopped reading all self-published books some time back.)

Oh, well.

I continue to write and to seek publication in the normal, traditional manner. There is no desire in me to arbitrarily decide that everything I pen is worthy of print. I always hope so, of course, but I am willing to work to achieve publication without dictating to everyone else that this goal has been reached. Where are the arbiters? Where are the standards? A kind of anarchism has entered the art form that is harmful rather than creative. The new system has constricted literature instead of expanding it. The bar has been cranked down so low that any creep and every moron can crawl easily over it on a track of slime; and all the creeps and morons have done just so.

One should not wonder at all that the situation is a sign of rampant narcissism. The act of creating art and the work of submitting those creations is a kind of self-centered practice. Admittedly, who are any of us to think we can entertain or interest the rest of us? That was always the case with writers and other artists, but at least in days past there were those standards I mentioned before. Those are gone. Pfft. Kaput.

But to understand the current situation in publishing, all you have to do is look around at western media. Crazy people abound, all of them screaming “Look at me!”; and far too many of them are held up in a positive light.


Well, I'll keep plugging away. Luddite? Maybe. My keyboard is my workstation. My words are my tools. When I’m not out exploring the mountains and forests, the rivers and prairies, you can find me here. I’ll be busy writing, but not necessarily publishing.

"Look at me! LOOK AT ME!!!
“Bad writing's like bad women: there's just not much you can do about it”
Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness.

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