When your books are less than successful, when you find it hard to make a splash, people tend to say the same kind of things:
Don’t give up! Your audience is out there! You’ll find them and connect. Stick with it.
I am here to tell you that this is not true. The majority of us will not find out audiences. We will work and toil and promote and do stupid interviews that no one will read about our books that no one will buy. FFS people can’t even be bothered to read the links to posts for giveaways.
‘Oooh, I want one! How do I enter?!’
The info is in the link you haven’t clicked, Einstein. It’s pretty simple. But your performative enthusiasm is noted. And worthless.
We all know it means fuck all. Because you don’t buy the books, you don’t read the books, and most important of all you don’t review the books anywhere so other people might possibly be persuaded to throw caution to the winds and read something by an author they haven’t been reading since childhood and complaining about almost as long. ‘It’s not as good as their best stuff,’ you’ve been repeating for decades but still shell out for the product because the food may be bland but at least it’s familiar.
It’s not going to get better. Late stage capitalism is crushing the life out of all of us except the super-rich and even they won’t be able to survive the collapse of the planet. The planet will. They’ll be going off to other planets in hope of conquest and colonisation because that’s worked for them over the last few centuries. Oh but wait, there’s no servants to do all the things they don’t know how to do, so they’ll die on the new planet’s surface because they don’t know how to open a can.
So why write? For self-fulfillment? For the love of it? For the psychological benefits of expressing your thoughts in a Socratic attempt to examine your life?
Well, you can do that. I write because fuck you. I’m not winning awards, I’m not paying the bills, I’m not trying to make a name for myself, I’m not even trying to reach an audience. I expect I’ll die penniless and considered mad like William Blake and so many others.
I keep writing because fuck you, I want to do it. That’s it: I write because I fucking want to do it. It gives me a perverse pleasure in the face of all the forces that want to take you down a peg, tell you you’re nothing and that your words not being worth money means they’re worth nothing.
Fuck you. My words are worth it.
At every stage of civilisation there have been gatekeepers and fame is a juggernaut that keeps its momentum going like a boulder down a mountain, crushing everything in its path. And in every age some punks crossed their arms, stuck out their chins, and said fuck no, I will not be crushed.
Words are weapons. Anger is a an energy, like the man said. Even if they crush us, we go down saying fuck you.
I’m going to be your Number one enemy,
All for the hell of it.