A Farewell to Harms.
In an earlier post some time ago I asked the question; is there any point in continuing? Is writing (in my case literary historical erotica) worth the effort?
I have decided it is not. I have quit. Called it a day. Called it a night. Whatever phrase you prefer.
And it has proved to be a weight off my mind. The clamor (clamour in English English) of the marketeers, the people telling me how brilliant their next must-read novel is, the people telling me how easily they can splurge my name/my books across Twitter and the internet, is all gone. It has suddenly gone quiet.
I am not going to spend another six months, year, two years, three, investing effort into a manuscript, creating, writing, editing, re-editing a work which, on publication, will be worth less to the average reader than the price of a Starbucks or a piece of cheap, made-in-China tourist tat.
Nor will I ever wait anxiously in case the next review is written -as was one of my very first – by a loser who thought she had a score to settle, or by someone who struggles if there is more than one comma in a sentence.
Nor will I worry that any success I might achieve will be undermined by plagiarism or naked piracy.
To rest, now. Very soon I will change my tags on here, and considerably more, and all you are likely to find here will be photographs, predominantly of birds and squirrels, the odd observation on life, and small scale representations of the art work I plan to focus myself upon. I can draw, I can paint – kind of, and other things, and none of them require the effort or the time that is required by writing.
Yet how many folks, I wonder, will offer me – for a watercolour, an oil or a drawing – less than the price of a commercial coffee?
Take care now.
I’m strictly a tea drinker, but I’ll be watching to see what art you show.
Hello lovely lady. It is always good to hear from you. I do not know that I will produce anything ‘great’ – my skills, such as they were, have been very long neglected. But I hope very much that you will remain in touch.
The publishing world hasn’t even figured out the audience or how they can maintain profits, either. But people like things they can look at better than things that they must read. So perhaps this new endeavor will be more rewarding. Although, as a graphic designer/illustrator, I can tell you in the commercial world there is Fiverr and similar places and artists working for free because they are desperate and they make your efforts centsless ;-). The new model for profit is with things like Kickstarter and Patreon, wherein you are more businessman than artist. It’s an interesting time for artists: we have great freedom of expression, low production costs, yet more competition than ever because EVERYONE with ANY interest can vie for attention and dollars. I will be trying the route of patreon once I get my Webcomic up and running.
Hi Teresa, and thank you for responding. I entirely agree with your comments. I am not, though, giving up on writing because it doesn’t pay, or turning toward art in the belief that it will 🙂 Literate readers – mostly editors and publishers – like my writing and give feedback even if it is only in terms of accepting work for publication, but the amount of feedback I have received from other readers has been virtually nonexistent and sales have been poor. Since I write both to entertain and to encourage people to think – which is a bit of a losing battle these days anyway – the lack of response makes the exercise pointless. And, in a sense, it is about ‘points’. If publishing were not about money at all, if it were only about ranking in terms of the number of people who read and enjoyed, I could probably live with that. As it is it is about an amount of labour – however much the labour is loved – and the production of some kind of return. For me the return has been pretty much zero, and I believe my time and effort is worth more than that. It is not impossible that my artwork will simply fizzle out, that my skills have been so long neglected (and may never anyway have amounted to very much) that I cannot produce anything worth showing, in which case I will do what I do just for the enjoyment of doing it or redirect my energies elsewhere.
Thirty years on from the death of my daughter, the most significant life-changing event I have experienced, there are things that matter to me far less than they appear to do to others. I had an ambition to be a novelist and I achieved it. Moving on is not an issue. Taking my work out of the hands of the semi-literate, the dumbed down, the freeloaders and the pirates, is satisfying of itself.
Do let me know when your webcomic is up and running. I wish you the very, very best with it.
I so admire your focus. I get the effect silence and bad faith has on your desire to continue. Yes, the pirates! Mine all come from Russia, it seems. And the readers who who don’t get the effort it takes. My promotions and free editions yielded nothing from any reader who participated. I think it’s a great time to be a reader! LOL The reviews I’ve received were kindly offered before I did any promos, and it’s nice to have a few but there they sit alone for years. I’ve taken a two-year hiatus from writing. It’s helped me tremendously. Going back simply because I need to be creative. I’m looking forward to your art!