Keeping up with the internet as a writer can sometimes be a bit taxing. With all of the expectations placed on independent writers, the idea that you then have to continue to put out content can be unreasonable and stressful. Honestly, I realized this some time back when my self-publishing experiment turned out to suck more than I thought it would and I found myself burnt out on all of the little facets of self-promotion required.
I know most people who start writing blogs or opening twitter accounts happen to treat it like some sort of hobby, but it’s always been part of my work for me. It’s not that I dislike writing (obviously, look at the length of my posts) but I’ve always wanted my stories to speak for themselves rather than me rambling on in their place. I don’t feel all that interesting most of the time. And when my work was suffering in the past, and boy did it suffer, I lashed out a little bit at the social networking and web logging thing.
“Oh my god,” you’re saying sarcastically, “an emotionally unbalanced writer?!”
Yeah, well, let’s get something straight, I didn’t burn out because I’m emotionally unbalanced (though aren’t we all?). I burnt out because there’s aspects of the industry which suck hard, like the vacuum of space, and they don’t tell you squat about it until you actually get into the thick of things. You really don’t learn it until you’re slugging it out with people in a public forum.
But along the way it does start proving itself useful. You get a feel of the communities, you get a feel of the culture. In a way, you can use social media as a way of studying people and how they think. And eventually there are things you start to see as trends of thought on the internet, as you’re swimming through everyone’s stray thoughts and updates on their lives. In the process of seeing that, I realized there’s something that needs to be said.
To put it simply: Technology and progress are not the enemy of art.