It has been awhile since I’ve blogged anything newsy on the official site (including Zanzibar strips) and there are reasons for that which I would like to take a few moments to explain.
First, I have been steeped for the past six months in the preliminary planning and initial creation-phases of my next, as-yet-untitled book, slated for release in 2019 by Brightbourne. It’s going to be a massive piece of work—lavishly illustrated and certainly the most ambitious project I will ever tackle in my lifetime, and the creative energy required to “pull off” such a feat is all-consuming, as well as a trifle terrifying, albeit in a good way. Drawing all the existential components together to essentially braid the synthesis of focus, desire, and discipline needed to accomplish such work makes everything else pale in comparison, by necessity.
Second (and no less crucial than my first point), I am repelled utterly by the tsunami-sized wave of pointless, trivial, hackneyed, and infantile “writing” that has swept across our popular culture at every level. The majority of people simply have no business venturing beyond the composition of a grocery-list when it comes to literary efforts, much less adhering to even the most basic standards of publication. I will gladly wear the mantle of “elitist” when it comes to this issue, and shall stand firm for the genuine writer’s dedication to superior craftsmanship, a trade that can claim roots in long years of steady discipline and talent well-nurtured.
Trust me: a master carpenter is not going to tell you that your uneven, uninhabitable birdhouse is a work of fine craftsmanship that merits an equal place alongside his (or her) professional creations. Not everyone deserves a trophy.
At all events, in a dead market flooded chiefly with thousands of puerile soft-porn “novels” written (and self-published!) by bored, illiterate housewives, or thrillers cobbled together with the creative equivalent of wallpaper-glue by old men who watch too much television, American Literature is, without question, at its nadir.
Then again, so is the culture of which the above-mentioned sort of dreck is merely a pestilential symptom.
That cannot be helped—the pendulum will have to swing in the opposite direction, and swing hard, before all of this detritus is brushed into the oblivion from whence it came, and where it belongs.
The same goes for blogging and for regularly posting opinions and ditherings and blatherings in a cyberspace already deafened by the roaring and lowing and chattering of the masses.
I don’t know why seasoned, professional writers even bother to do it, especially if they’re not getting paid. Look what incessant blogging has done to Neil Gaiman’s output. My G-d.
Another point: Nothing is ever really free, but if something is given away recklessly for “free,” I guarantee you that, 99.99% of the time, it is not worth even the most cursory glance.
Everything I shall have to say about the world, the cosmos, and its workings shall henceforth be found strictly within my books, and one shall have to pay for them. It’s a publisher’s job to entice potential audiences to do just that, at their cost, not mine.
Other than that, I’ll provide general-info updates when necessary and perhaps the occasional cartoon when fancy strikes.
Amid all of this, the greatest irony remains: the conglomeration of social media crap has got to be maintained to some degree by anyone in the publishing industry. These Official Facebooks, Twitters, .coms, and Instagrams should ideally be business cards for the serious writer, no more no less.
And no one should ever get excited about a business card.
Rather, get excited about the work that “card” represents. And if you’re a serious, seasoned writer, thank your lucky stars that literacy-levels are still high in Europe.
Ta, for now.