Inspired by Ryder Collins‘ tremendous article, and as a tangent to the ideas behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, I wanted to slam down my very own opinionated piece. It seems to me that business/writing/the business of writing is a continuous handshake, a wink and a slap on the bum.
(Sure I want to bring down federal banking just like the next man. I do believe that what is going on financially in the world is a massive swindle and most people are on the losing end. But what I also believe is that you and I also need to be held accountable. We’ve put our faith in these establishments, we’ve handed it all over, from our salaries to our mortgages. Not to mention the free-spending, the gluttony and lack of self-control which has meant we’ve lost our footing; in fact we’ve lost it, slipped up and fallen face down in our own putrid puke.)
I work in the business of writing, of publishing. I choose to promote writing that doesn’t adhere to the formula of success. I am the anti-how to. But you can’t live in the world if you don’t work in boxes and don’t swim in paperwork. Well, you can’t in this world. And what I’ve realised is writers and publishers take no responsibility for the state of writing and publishing. They try and shift the focus to the established order. No, it’s in your hands. You, the reader, the writer, the publisher. You can make the difference in what is read. You can offer great, ignored artists the respect they deserve.
Because, in case you didn’t already know, Chinese whispers, personal recommendations and agents is how books get to print. And marketing departments. And underpaid readers. And fads dictated by academia or mass culture. But the bottom line is money. What this all points to is cash. Acceptance and popularity = dough. Too often, writers and publishers go with the flow. If there is protest, it’s swallowed up by a refusal to change.
Protesters will know they might experience brutality or fire. In the literary world, if you stand up, expect the same. But start throwing spanners in the works and see what happens. I dare you. Put your name down below in protest.