We live in a time of soul-crushing opportunity.
In this age, we can create so many works. We can publish books physical and electronic. We can make podcasts that fly across the internet. As I’ve heard it put, so many ways, “there’s just so much stuff out there.”
This then begs the question, “why create?” From giant conglomerates to people like ourselves, there’s so many people making things to read, watch, and so on. The chance of our works finding purchase in the world seems slim indeed, even if we pour heart and soul into marketing.
If we do work mightily to market, it takes time and luck and money and effort that could be used for writing. Even if success seems likely, how much of a drain is it on the time of a writer or artist?
It’s easy to get tired and discouraged. Worse, the idea of the “angry and discouraged artist” in our culture is an archetype, an image of despair we may too easily latch on to. There’s a blueprint for self-loathing and defeat readily provided when we get frustrated with all this stuff.
I get this too. I can do things beyond my wildest dreams with my writing and my works, and it takes me into a dizzying world of potential and despair. I’ve thought about it, and at times wonder, despite some twenty-plus books, “why?”
Then the answers come to me – and it’s always the same.
I write because I like to write, its what I do. If I wasn’t doing books I’d be writing something else. So it might as well be books, and I like writing books. If you like to create, then create.
I write because I do have thinks to say. I do believe in worldbuilding. I believe in improving creativity. I like to make fiction. If you have something to say then find a way to say it with your creativity.
I write because in this age I enjoy the challenge. I’m tired of the overload of things, of the onslaught of a thousand titles. I might as well try to stand out. Maybe if nothing else promote your works out of sheer bloody-minded determination.
I write because I want to find ways to crack the marketing of books. Because my works are worth seeing. Because if I learn something I can share it. So learn to market – your way – so you can beat the system and help others.
I don’t know what the future brings. Technology changes are driven by algorithmic takes on our own biases. The climate cracks under ill-conceived policies. Politics is a dumpster fire. But I am a writer, a creator, and this is what I do.
It’s what you do too. So do it, take your place among the legions of stuff coming out there, make your stand. It’s better than giving in. Better to make our place in this changing world and the overwhlemingness of the times.