Sunday, March 24, 2013

I Sometimes Wonder... I being too irreverent regarding this whole writing lark? Should I be divulging pearls of wisdom instead of taking the piss? Should this blog resemble the other 7.9 million out there, guiding you through the muddy minefield that is self-publishing and pounding away on a keyboard eight hours a day? Should I change my bio photograph to something a little more professional? Perhaps don a set of half-moon spectacles and look studious in front of bookshelves filled with Hilary Mantel novels and a carefully placed copy of Tolstoy's War and Peace. Or the side lit, menacing-in-a-dark-room look. You know the one, where a table lamp is placed to one side, effectively making the author look like a scary thriller writer (not to be confused with a writer of scary thrillers). 

Would my time be better spent rubbing spacebars with the literati who frequent the multitude of writers' forums, discussing the 'craft' and bragging about my latest book reaching the number one slot in Amazon's Japanese Origami for the Partially Disabled chart? After all, fifty forum friends equals fifty glowing reviews. And to quote the late, great Sebastian Horsley: "I like reviewing books because it makes me want to read them." The same man who famously mailed his own excrement to a critic. I could use said forums to showcase my literary genius:

Bookworm 1972 says: 

Wish this snow would bugger off.

CharlieP says:

Day off work tho. LOL

ML Stewart says:

Twas with a heavy heart I did peer through the misted windowpane this morn. The landscape beyond, whilst I slept, had been fashioned like dunes of sand; bleached white by a century of sun. A paradoxical notion when one realised the garden was, in fact, blanketed in benumbing snow. 

Bookworm 1972 says:

Fuck off!

Perhaps seriousness breeds seriousness. Maybe people would take me seriously if I wasn't so flippant, and used longer, more complicated sycophant and incorrigible.

A serious-looking and therefore successful author.

I imagine the world of self-published authors to be a little like a food drop mission to a starving continent. A military transport airplane cruises high above the barren, dusty plains. Piloted by a publisher, the co-pilot a literary agent. Far below, a million hungry faces stare heavenwards in desperate hope. The cargo hold opens. A parachute unfurls and begins its graceful descent. 50,000 writers are crushed in the stampede. But one person is inevitably going to catch that falling Smartie. That person will have the longest arms, or the deft ability to knock every other bastard out of his way. 

Perhaps changing my writing environment will alter my way of thinking. Clear the empty wine bottles away. Empty one of the ashtrays. Begin smoking cigars instead of rolling baccy with a picture of a gangrenous foot on the packet, which doesn't actually put me off smoking, although, admittedly, I smoke in bare feet now - so I can administer health checks on a regular basis.

Maybe I should utilise my Twitter account to more purposeful ends. I could follow a couple of thousand authors, thus boosting my 'follow backs', and learn what everyone else eats for breakfast, or how bad their three-year-old's cough really is.

But then where does it stop? I'll just become a clone, and start writing acknowledgements at the start of my books, as though I'm one of those famous authors with all the bookshelves behind them: This book is dedicated to Great Aunt Jemima; from whom I stole £1000 to pay for the new laptop, and without whom, none of the crap you are about to read would have been possible. I'll run the risk of becoming one of the back-patting, jolly Kindle brigade...

The Pen is Mightier says:

Great news, friends. I just sold my first e-book in India.That's ten sales this year, and it's only December :)

Writing Addict says:

That's wonderful news, TPIM. Well done, old chap. You should include that in your bio: International author. Ooh! It may become a Bollywood movie. How exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O/T how are your houseplants doing?

ML Stewart says: 

[This post was removed by the cuddly forum moderator for extreme use of profanities.]

Where the hell would it all stop? Would I end up buying an e-reader myself? A Kindle, or Kobo, or iPad thing. Jesus Christ! I might even start writing reviews. Can you imagine? Me! Reviewing other people's work. My God, it would be a disaster. Authors across the globe would be committing suicide. Killing their beloved pets and families before turning the gun on themselves. There would be Waterstones' Martyrs: Strapped with dynamite as they search the A to Z for their books and see its the only slot still full, not even thumbed through, not a dog ear in sight. 

The more I embitter myself by reading what's out there on the internet, the more I feel like the proverbial square peg and round hole. Call me a cynic, or a hater, I don't mind - a judge at the Old Bailey once called me much worse, but I think every angle of life needs someone like me. Albeit for a limited time.The three-legged dog that bites the postman's arse; or the crazy drunk on the street corner who directs traffic. 

And, therefore, I think I'll continue to take the piss until the postie whacks me with a rolled up newspaper, or I get hit by that oncoming bus.

Available soon from an author near you.
The Amazon #1 best seller in the Japanese Origami for the Partially Disabled chart. 
Priced at £0.04 for readers in India. 

Let me leave you with the best, worst review I have ever received. Obviously from someone with a Kindle...

fionafrog: 2 out of 5 - The Facebook Killer (Part 3)
I don't like it but had to finish it! 17 March 2013
Utterly grim but totally compelling. Not my sort of book at all and yet ... I simply had to read the final part. What on earth is wrong with me for getting into it in the first place. The things that happen in this book are revolting!! So why I had to read it, I don't know but I did.

The author has clearly tapped into a side of me I don't know myself - but I don't like me very much for being fascinated by it.

Over and out,

Disclaimer:ML Stewart acknowledges there are many talented and successful self-published authors in the world. He only takes the mick out of those who waste their time promoting their wares and bum-chumming instead of writing.

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