I've been reading around the web on the pro's and con's of self-publishing versus the traditional route etc...So much information to take in and retain, which isn't great news for someone who struggles to remember what they went into the kitchen for, never mind dealing with the cut and thrust of the publishing world. Maybe writing the book/post/poem, is the achievement - what comes next is merely the icing on the cake.
You grit your teeth and finally produce a manuscript that's not half bad. There, you've done it! You've written the book you always wanted to write. Well, something within that neighbourhood at any rate. Now what? Do you spend months, if not years, querying agents and publishers who have the business muscle required to edit and market your book in return for maybe £1 per sale, (if you're lucky). Or do you decide to go it alone and upload your work to Kindle (other avenues are available), for it to be lost amongst the plethora of volumes already on offer, many for free? Cast your nurtured new-born into the murky waters of the deep end in the hope that it will doggy paddle at the very least. The reality being it's more likely to drown before you can throw a life raft in the form of 'siblings' to join your offspring. Strength in numbers might enhance the chances of sales for survival if you're a really fast worker and...good at what you do.
And then what?
Do you write to sell or sell to write?
Does the demand outweigh the impulse to create?
Does the spark end up killing the flame?
My mind has been occupied recently with how Neolithic's first left their mark in the form of Cave Drawings. In taking up pigment to reflect the world around them, they immortalised themselves forever within the very foundations of the earth which sustained them. I doubt they were concerned by thoughts of percentages, marketing strategies or how many Facebook Likes they might receive. All that mattered was representing what they saw because their instinct told them they could.
Picasso said, 'I do not seek, I find.'
I rather like this idea. To create for the purpose of being creative.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm delighted if someone stops by, reads and enjoys what I've written but as for the rest...The battle to be noticed, the competition to be heard, the expectation to be constantly on top of your game because 'you're only as good as the last thing you wrote.'
This is not my bag.
I write when I want to write. I write when I have something to say, when it's not forced, or clever for the sake of being clever. It matters not, seen or unseen because the words are my pigment and the page is my cave. I shall continue to tap away at the cold, hard stone.
One day, thousands of years from now, these 'drawings' will be discovered, deep within the chasm of this virtual world. I'm quite relieved I won't be around to witness that historic event.
Friday, 24 April 2015
Thursday, 16 April 2015
With thanks to Angelique Jamail for hosting a truly wonderful Poet-A-Day series through April. Be sure to check out her blog which features contributions from many talented poets, plus much more besides. See you there.