My last blog post, which talked about the merger between Penguin and Random House, reminded me of an important lesson that, as someone who enjoys the notion of “being creative,” I shouldn’t have forgotten.
On the internet, you can’t make art for art’s sake.
If you do, that’s more or less assuming that your art is so good and so compelling that it will radiate through the deep infinite space of online content like a burning sun of genius.
I was guilty of this notion for a while. I took pride that I didn’t “blog” in the traditional sense, I just generously gave away my masterpieces to the unknowable masses.
That’s the biggest misconception among writers, artists, and musicians who are trying to use to the internet as a platform for their pieces:
For the past few years, authors have kind of looked on in dismay as publishing houses like Penguin and Random House lumbered like dinosaurs underneath the growing shadow of the meteoric threat known as ebooks.
When I posted my first attempt at “15 Minute Fury” – blog posts that I don’t spend more than 15 minutes on – I thought pretty hard about it.
You know, afterwards.
I was wondering if I was sacrificing quality for quantity. If, by trying to force myself to create something by giving myself a very tight deadline, I would write the equivalent of an essay someone would (charitably) grade as “D+.”
Then, I reflected on what blogging is these days. I’ve been doing it since about 2009. I’ve had two blog posts take off, twomasterpieces that got around 25,000 views and ~500 social shares via Facebook and Twitter on Open Salon.
Yes, folks, they went “viral.” Or at least bacterial.
Here’s what I learned about the state of blogging from that experience:
When the Kindle first came out, I remember a distinct feeling as my heart sunk into a swamp of pessimism. This is it, I thought. I am an English major, an aspiring novelist, a “writer,” at literally the worst time in American history of the world to be one. In other countries, of course, anytime is a bad time.
My friend’s mom owns an independent bookstore, one of those rare and beautiful things that now primarily feasts on the wallets of tourists and upper middle class locals. He frothed at the mouth when Amazon released the Kindle, decrying the institution and talking about how this would essentially murder books and those who try to write them.