While I’m busy cleaning up loose ends and failed endeavors, I’ve decided to withdraw all of my books from publication, effective immediately. I’m tired of swimming upstream against a tide of indifference. I’ve gotten a few rejects from agents, but that’s not the reason. I honestly don’t give a damn what an agent thinks. I don’t write what others write and I don’t like to read what others read. As such, my books will never be mainstream in my life. Novels all follow the same formulas within their appointed genres and those books bore the hell out of me.
I bought Gone Girl, best-seller and hot movie. Hated it. Why? The author purposely made all of the characters unlikable. In most of my work, most of the characters are likeable. I won’t spend even an hour of my time with someone, even a fictional someone, that I don’t like. I FUCKING HATE television. I’ve never watched even a single second of the Cable shows that people rave about on FacePuke. I HATED, HATED, HATED Hugh Howey’s bleak short story series, “Wool.” Others like it. There’s nothing wrong with them, or me. I simply don’t find bleakness, darkness, obsessively maladjusted people interesting or novel.
I don’t fit into literary culture, and I don’t fucking want to. I finish fewer than 10% of the books I start, because I hate them. I’ve come to the conclusion that either the world is in an emotional eclipse, or those of us who aren’t are too busy wandering through fields for art.
Literature is dead, but books survive. Art is dead, and who the FUCK cares, right?
Well, I still do, and fuck those who don’t. I’m damned tired of struggling, so from now on, I stop. I’ll probably keep writing, because it amuses me. It even amuses me that only my wife has/will ever read my best work. Maybe that will turn me bitter enough that I can one day do something popular. Probably not.
Oh well. Fuck it.
6 thoughts on “No Más”
Reblogged this on This Blog Intentionally Blank.
I often feel the same, Bill — that the “grim bleakness populated by assholes” model is a powerful tide to swim against. And while there’s value in opposing that tide, I definitely think it’s reasonable for a human being to get tired and pack it in. Here’s hoping you find happiness in whatever you do next.
Thanks, Heidi. I appreciate that.
People have to be forced, albeit very surreptitiously to give a shit. It takes a lot of effort to make people give a shit. That kind of effort is exhausting and isn’t for everybody. But unfortunately most of the best things in life seem to be hard won. Maybe we’re all missing a trick, focussing on the wrong thing? I’m no more clued up on this than you. Sometimes though, all you can do is stop and let it all go. Go downstream for a change. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The reality of writing is an odd duck – if you will excuse that oh so tradition British saying?
In days of Yore, before Amazon etc, one could have written for ever and never seen one’s book in print. And we both know , that the novelty of being in print wears thin very quickly if the book is not selling.
And as we also know, a quick blog hop you will encounter innumerable writes who are dreaming of writing a novel, in the process of or just finishing.
If one knew the magic key, then you and I would be millionaires sipping Remy Martins or jack Daniels on the Caribbean island where my cousin has his landscape gardening business.
I am on the verge of opting to go solo and as I have little hair left and have resorted to pulling it out from under my arms.
I believe one must look at the entire world of publishing as a business first. The art? ”Screw that”.
My father once said the art of business is to see a need and satisfy it and if you couldn’t see a need,then create one.
Literature is no different.
If people don’t feel the need to buy ( your) books then the need must be created.
And remember, the MD of Decca turned down the Beatles. And Rowling was rejected too.
I often wonder what the agents who rejected her felt like after seeing the first Harry Potter movie? Suicidal?
I recommend you read The Great Pursuit, Bill. By Tom Sharpe. You will hose yourself laughing, but his observations of the publishing world are incredibly astute ( from what I have read).
Thanks, Ark. What you said makes a great deal of sense. I originally started writing only because I was bored and everything I read was dark and cynical. Stupidly, I assumed the reason was that only cynical writers were being published, and if people were given the option, they’d choose light over darkness.
But I started writing in the pits of a global recession with half the world trying to blow the other half up. People don’t want warm fuzzies. They want to think heroes’ lives are even more shitty than theirs. Then, right at the end, maybe the hero walks away intact after getting the hell beat out of him all story long. Screw my characters, who get kicked in the face, but mostly kick ass back.
I do need to read the book. I’m so tired of getting the same response, “Sounds interesting, but it’s not for me.” Translated, it means, “Too much work. I just want what the hell I know they’ll buy.”
Maybe I’ll just amuse myself by learning to write as well as I can. Or maybe I’ll just keep shoving my cameras into people’s faces until they get to heavy for my crinkled, shaky hands.