In The Name Of The Author

Lately I have encountered some people who are fellow artists and inevitably the conversations would turn to our work. The first topic of course is, for me, the lack of readership. The fact is my books are not commonly read and that’s mostly because I can’t afford to market them effectively enough to reach a larger reader base. After lamenting this, the person I’m talking to invariably asks if the work itself shouldn’t be the main focus and anything past that is just not that important. I have grown sick of this idea. I am a writer and yes, writing is a very important thing for me but isn’t enough. I admit that. It’s getting people to read my work that holds just as much importance. It’s not about vanity. I don’t expect people to read my stuff and go on about what a genius I am; although if that should happen, who am I to argue? It’s just the same with painters and singers. If their craft was enough for them, they would just paint for themselves or just sing for themselves, but they don’t. They post pictures of their paintings and upload videos of their singing or actually sing in public. Sharing their art with an audience is an essential part of the process. They aren’t doing it for glory or for worship by the masses. Creating something is just part of art. Another large part of it is sharing your work with others. It’s just like in life. It means more and is more precious when you share it with other people. I don’t like being made to feel like I’m some egotist just because I want people to read my books and scripts. I could sit in my room and write until the end of time. I could write piles of books and scripts  until the day I die and then be entombed in a hut made of those books and scripts, but what is the point of writing if your work is not shared with anyone else? Writing in itself is NOT enough, I’m sorry. It’s not. It’s like you keep loading your gun with bullets but never shoot it. The sharing of art is part of the artistic process. There is the artist and the audience. Two equal parts and one cannot exist without the other. The proof of that is museums. If art for the sake of art was such a thing, why do we have museums? Because it needs to be expressed as well as created. Art is like a living creature and  it needs to be appreciated. Being created and then thrown in a dark room never to be seen is like killing it.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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What the…?

Okay. Must vent. I was just watching The Colbert Report and he spoke of something referred to as ‘dinosaur erotica’. For a second I thought he was joking, but then I dashed onto Amazon.com and checked and lo and behold, he was right. There are many books in this genre in fact. I’m not going to review them, as I will not read them, but much to my surprise, they are receiving praise. Mostly from people who think they’re a joke, which they might be, but they seem like they were written as real erotic novels, with dinosaurs.

What makes me mad is that these people are getting boatloads of orders for their books now because of this single moment in the spotlight. They crank out these short stories (19-20 pages per), sell them for 2.99 and now they’re laughing all the way to the bank, while I toil for months on one of my books and it’s like pulling teeth trying to publicize them and to get any sales. UUURRRGGGHHH!!! So is this the lesson? Write something so impossibly stupid no one will believe it’s real and you’ll succeed? It feels like at some point the whole world flipped over on its side and what I thought was true, hard work paying off and the rewards of effort, became false and now we reward those who put in the least amount of effort and work into their endeavors. Reality television rules the airwaves. The Kardashians don’t seem to be losing steam. People who generally choose the low, easy road win. It just feels like after every generation we dig ourselves deeper into this hole. We keep showing the generation after us that it’s best to take the shortcuts. Why work hard for years when you can have everything you want right now and all you have to do is betray everything you are? Until we start demanding better from the world, it’s only going to get worse. Keep in mind now we have television shows where you watch other people watching reality TV. You have shows where the content is just commenting on celebrities tweets about current events and other shows that just show videos from off the internet. If you think we can do better, then step up and let your voice be heard.