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WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

I GIVE UP! I like writing. I do it because of a need to do it. Being bi-polar (a term I hate and would prefer Manic-Depressive) I write the voices in my head. But I am insular. Getting out on the hustings to promote and sell what those voices utter is anathema. There are millions…

I GIVE UP!

I like writing. I do it because of a need to do it. Being bi-polar (a term I hate and would prefer Manic-Depressive) I write the voices in my head.

But I am insular. Getting out on the hustings to promote and sell what those voices utter is anathema.

There are millions of writers out there now. Pleas, personal messages, begging letters to please obtain some of these works have not gone unheeded. Adding up total dollars spent on such works would give a single indie author a few lattes and meals at Hogs Breath, including the lobster and steak special.

Now, after 61 years of writing, I give up. Being a sucker is not a crime. It is however, stupid. I do understand that. Perhaps my judgement is bad. Perhaps few people write the kind of story, the kind of poetry, the kind of fiction and non-fiction that I love. Simply speaking, of all those dollars spent supporting “authors” there is little to enjoy.

My most recent acquisition was a book of poetry which, from Amazon cost twenty-five dollars plus postage. Thirty nine pages printed on one side only, each poem no more than fifteen short lines. It was poetry written with a first person angst that quickly became a misery to read.

Authors promote their new novels, citing wonderful reviews. Few of these novels go beyond thirty thousand words. Why does everyone think that writing in the first person is what most people want?

Spelling, grammar, even the most ordinary precepts of English are ignored, or not learned. (Learnt?)

Then there are those peddling “books” on how to write books. Written with little or no knowledge of the process of writing. They are cobbled together using paragraphs from internet blogs or facebook posts. Some almost cleverly couch the information in their own way, and bless them for doing so.

I give up.

A month or so ago I left Facebook. It had become a cacophy of noise, skiting and harangue. “Writer” pages abound, many of them with over forty thousand members. Are all these people writers? All of them? Well, they may write, that is, put words on facebook. Many even publish. They extract praise and “congratulations” from friends and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends.

So I gave up on facebook. Then there was a learning curve. It seems that one cannot really give up on facebook, or google+ or social media per se. Every time one commits to a blog, there is a setting that ensures that your post is sent to social media. If you don’t enable these settings, all you have is a blog with no one to read it because you have not made your work public.

I give up.

Recently there was a post on facebook by a very saddened lady who had deleted her literature page because no one likes ‘literature’ these days. Her posts on her page were largely inane and disappointing to her. This lady deserves massive kudos. She took the bull by the horns and deleted it.

My novels, my stories, and my poetry are all written to my blog. My published books, (all of them exceeding fifty thousand words of careful plotting) receive good reviews. Then come the requests for free copies. Hundreds of websites offer Pdf’s of my books for free.

I give up.

Writing will always be the second most important thing in life. Only family comes first. There will however be no more published books. The work is not begrudged. The many months dedicated to research and writing, then editing and sharing with beta readers is not begrudged. It has become quite obvious though that the kind of writing I do is no longer wanted.

Being an ‘old’ man now, I do understand that I have had the best of the world. A wonderful career as a journalist. Many stories told. Once, in the mists of time, people even paid for those stories and poems. It’s been a good life.

What has driven this old man back into his dark cave? Not the posts on gun control or mad politicians. No. Just one single sentence. It came from a disenfranchised youth who felt that we the older folk, no longer belong in their world. “Why don’t you just die?” it said.

I give up.

Author: grahamwhittaker
What do I call myself? A novelist? A journalist? Writer on demand? Copywriter? Ghostwriter? Poet? Is there a single word to describe all these things? if anyone knows one please tell me. I started out life as a journalist after my service time in the RN. I was 22. My love then was music writing, contributing articles to most of the pop/rock magazines of the time. As time went by I ghostwrote biographies for celebs, wrote novels, and made a general living from writing everything from love letters to translating menus in China to acceptable English. I have written greetings cards, manuals, How to books on so many subjects I forget. My living has been as a writer on demand. So, my blog is an eclectic collection of HOW MY BRAIN WORKS. Recently I started writing blogs for company blogs. In my retirement I find myself writing more, about more subjects than I ever covered as a roving journalist. I ask myself why having reached the age of leisure why I am now busier than ever before! My last novel, The Girl From Kosovo has led to a second, which will be on your bookshops next year 2014, and my new anthology of shorts with the title Picking Up Peas With Chopsticks has just been uploaded as an ebook. (It's a pot boiler so don't expect a print version any time soon.) If you have a blog, or a job to offer, I'm an obsessive researcher and turnaround time is fast. Yes, I know, I'm a HACK. A writer for money. A gun for hire. But hey... we all have our failings. Thanks for calling in. Feel free to chat and comment. I'll even get back to you with a thank you note!

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4 Comments

  • John Reinhart, Poet

    I hear you! I’m on the younger end, and fairly new to publishing. There is not only a lot of drivel, but there are people willing to publish drivel. This has just driven me to be more selective in what I read and where I publish. I support people I’ve come to appreciate or who put in the work to craft good poetry (my primary vice).

    The challenge of the cacophony is that it’s harder to find the songs, but they’re out there. (This is in no way to disagree with your sentiment, nor to challenge you to buck up and get back in the ring, just my determined optimism that the flickers do illuminate a path through the darkness.)

    In solidarity –

    • Thank you John. I greatly appreciate your comment. Yes, there are still good writers out there. I have always tried to support good writers. I guess I will still buy good work. I love the work of people like Chris Page, who is not published yet, but who posts his material on facebook. One day I hope he will find it worthy (of himself) to publish it. There are others like Mark Anthony Rossi who publishes the Ariel Chart, and who is the admin of Writers, Authors and Readers on facebook. Thanks again mate. I do feel somewhat validated by those who have contacted me.

  • Don’t give up, matey. Turn your against into words. ‘Why don’t you just die!’ seems to me like a brilliant opening for a short story.

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