That was the worst easter ever...
That's what was originally supposed to be here today, but then I found this fucking bullshit (http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/may/29/self-publishing-revolutionary-reactionary-authorpreneurialism?CMP=twt_gu) and I haven't been able to think about anything else.
This article provoked a real despair in me once I was done with it. It wasn't just the content of the piece, although that pissed me off a great deal. I could write it all off as the poorly researched opinions of one out of touch old man. As somebody who regularly reads the Telegraph, I am more than capable of doing that.
What bothered me, and made me seriously consider giving up writing altogether was the comments. I know, I know -- never read the comments. It's rule number one of doing anything on the internet.
Normally the comment section of every single internet thing is made up of people tearing down the central concept of whatever that thing is. Except for my blog, of course, where I just get tumbleweeds and the distant chirping of bored crickets.
But you know how internet comment sections are, I assume you're on the internet right now you can probably find one. Pull up any article from any newspaper and check the comments. I can almost guarantee that the first couple will be from people who violently disagreed with the article, the next will mock the author personally, someone in there will drop a racial slur, a confused time traveller will wander in to demand that people vote for Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential election. Maybe in amongst all that madness, someone will make a sensible point, but even if they don't, the message is clear -- express an opinion on the internet loud enough and a tidal wave of angry maniacs will descend upon you and start yelling.
I was quite looking forward to seeing what people had to say here. For once, I could be on the side of the angry maniacs without going to a Liverpool/Everton derby! But isn't it always the way? The one time you want the internet to be the frenzied, angry mob it always is, it gets a visit from the Care Bears.
Way to go, internet, you can't even be yourself right.
The comment feed for this article was filled with an outrush of love and support for the author. People were standing up and cheering, one person likened themself to god, I'm sure if I'd have read deep enough I'd have found people jumping up and down and giggling like David Beckham had just walked out the toilet stall ahead of them.
I'm being facetious to mask my anger here, but really this article and the comments for it are all just symptomatic of a backlash against self-publishing that I just don't understand.
These people have this weird idea about what a self-published author is. They've built up this strawman in their minds who farts out a draft over one weekend, doesn't bother checking the spelling and fires it up onto Amazon expecting to be a millionaire overnight; they don't do any work to improve their writing but at the same time they expect the same treatment as a published author, legions of fans and non stop positive feedback. If they get anything less than a five star review, they cry and stomp their feet like entitled babies.
Take one of the comments from the article for example, it's pretty long and it contained a lot of quotations bwhich I took out, otherwise we'd be here all day, and I have work to do and you probably do too) but I just discovered the 'read more break' tool on here and I'm pretty excited about giving it a go, let's hope it works!