Friday, 11 March 2016

The problems with books

People around me assume that it's inevitable that I will publish a book someday, but it's tough producing a long text which is marketable enough for me. Throughout my blog's journey, I have celebrated the short text. I find myself very comfortable working in this format. I suppose there's a lot less pressure to come up with a good blog post, because anyone can publish their writing online with Blogger (or a similar site). 
My friend Martin seems to be the only one who understand that my mind changes so quickly, that by the time I've published something online, half of it feels irrelevant. Writing books, then, is less about getting my message out than making money, and that doesn't feel like a good enough reason to participate in the publishing industry. 
Ideally, I wouldn't have to. That would permit me to continue being a fly on the wall, scooping up those niche books that appeal to me, and not having to worry about making my book commercially successful. 
The irony is that I'm so interested in writing that I want to protect myself from the industry. When I was younger I wanted to start my own publishing house, but I lacked the motivation (and, probably, the contacts). Ah, those days of dreaming with my Danish keypal, where anything seemed possible. Even writing this post, I have to choose my words carefully. I have to be aware of the discourses that might be floating around my readers' heads around reading and writing in 2016, certain inclinations towards upholding the status quo, no matter how slight. (Don't worry, I too am guilty of conformist urges, so non-judgmentalness is a philosophy I live by.) I want to celebrate the quality texts in circulations out there while recognising that the system as a whole needs rearrangement. And I realise that it's all very well for me to call for change while not actually participating within the system. It's a contradiction. But at least I'm calling for change of some sort. It feels like the odds are too against me to work towards publishing a book. That may change. I may feel like things become more workable in the future. But that's how it is today, and I'm trying to be comfortable with that - to find comfort in a world where comfort isn't easy to find. 
Keep up the great work, dear reader!

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