Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Is What Happens When You Look Up

Huh. I put down my pen (OK, my red pen. I'm marking, not writing) and pick up my laptop for five minutes and an hour later, I am still online, having read articles or parts of articles on the following:
  • the death throes of traditional publishing
  • the rules of blogging for writers
  • the rules of social media for writers
  • should you tweet (if you're a writer)
  • Jonathan Safran Foer's newest project, a book that is a story that is also a paper sculpture with holes cut in the pages (hard to explain, please Google "Tree of Codes" for description that makes sense)
  • copyright and what it's good for
  • the best writer's websites
When does a person find time to write a novel if they have to be blogging and tweeting and social networking, for the purposes of both self-promotion (but only in the kindest, gentlest, most self-aware way) and wry, unstudied self-expression, while worrying about the collapse of the industry, the defection of readers, the erosion of copyright, and what the market wants?

I get this same sinking feeling sometimes when I look up in a bookstore and see piles and piles and tables and tables and shelves and shelves of books, and I wonder why I want to add to them. The question fades the minute I look back down at the book I am holding. Asking why I want to write is like asking why I want to read is like asking why I am standing on the ground beneath my feet. (Is there somewhere else to stand?)

Note to self: don't look up.

No comments:

Post a Comment