13 February 2012

Where's The Monkey Gone?

Sad to note that last year I clocked up a grand total of three, count 'em, posts on the main journal. If I'd have made a commitment to one post every month and stuck to it I've have put in more.

I can only apologise.

The old arguments about all the time spent blogging are times not spent writing more worthy stuff still apply but so much has happened and none of it has been recorded. Well, some of it has, as the monkey has been shrinking in public.

PULP RP came out in October (I think it was October). The usual folks played a few games. It was a good thing. I began recording Starfall as an audiobook, I am just over halfway in sittings. There will be editing to follow.

I changed my day job.

I competed in Nano and won my 6th victory (4th consecutive).

The world turned.

I always intended to come back to my journal and pay it a bit more attention, I guess now it is as good a time to start as any.

One of the things that's kept me away is that I am pretty confident that no one actually reads this thing so I am really only writing it for my own sake anyway. Once, back in the mists of the before, I think I had some traffic because I used to review POD books. A practice I fully intend to resume. Being out of commission for a period of time, however, is tantamount to dying, having an empire grow up around your meagre grave, which is then paved over to build a shopping mall and then being utterly forgotten in the mists of time.

So I know that when I come back here to start in earnest I am starting again.

What makes me wonder whether this is the time is the discovery of high configurability in Google News/Reader which has in turn lead me to this:


From my Self-Publishing news feed. If there's about to be a bubble I guess I should try and get some shekels out of it... I actually doubt that the world of novelising is suitable for a bubble. It is a long held presumption that writing a crappy novel is just as hard as writing a good one and that people generally only wrote if they had some sort of aptitude for it or they wouldn't keep going.

I bet most literary agents can have a good chuckle at these assumptions.

What's staggering though is the fact that even the 999 cruddy novels that an agent turns down every year in favour of the one they actually choose to represent (which may not sell even then) is just the tip of a crudberg that would dwarf the contents of every library on earth.

People are writing utter tripe, we don't need monkeys at the typewriters, we have actual people who will issue forth tens of thousands of words of complete and utter drivel for no real reason whatsoever.

I mean, people can't honestly believe they stand a chance of making it big any more, can they? I mean, really? Twenty minutes acquainting oneself with the facts should be quite enough to show that believing you can write a best seller is a costly and foolish waste of time. Save your tears and buy a lottery ticket. Nobody's getting rich writing, those people who are rich and happen to be writers are rich for reasons beyond their competency as authors, trust me.

Not to say that professional writers aren't talented people who can turn a phrase and produce some solid work on occasion; of course they can. What I'm saying is that there are thousands of people who cannot make a living at writing turning out equally good (sometimes better) material that goes ignored. Some of it is actually published, some of it is self-published, some of it never sees the light of day. All of it is in the minority compared to the oceans of black and white effluvium produced by the sadly deluded and the lexically incompetent. The signal to noise ratio in the world of fiction is just ridiculous, and people don't really care that they're ...

Actually in a straw poll of one the guy who is sitting next to me says that he does care about trying not to read rubbish and he scours the internet to find reviews of titles he is thinking of putting on his reading list before committing to trying to acquire them.

And where does this search start? Amazon.

So if you aren't in a "readers who liked this also liked..." on Amazon, and you've only been reviewed by two people you probably aren't going to enjoy that broad based success necessary to generate  a living income out of just publishing novels.

So, why am I bothering?

I'm not, really. I write because I like to write and if people like to read what I write, well, tough because I find publishing to be a hassle and once the story is done I can't usually be bothered to go any further.

So I hope you enjoy reading about my writing even if you are highly unlikely to ever actually experience any of the stories that I write. I'll get back to reviewing when I can. But it rather depends on finding something to read and then reading it, which requires spare time, and I don't have any.

That's the other barrier.

Oh well, there are always jobs that don't involve writing...