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Thursday, October 13, 2022

Take a hard write

 

Writing, per se, has never been hard for me. After years of journalism and copywriting, I don't really struggle to write a sentence or paragraph. Occasionally I am quite prolific. And occasionally I don't have anything to say. But occasionally I say it anyway. Lately I've just been sifting through old blog posts that I think were pretty good and reposting them on Medium in hopes someone else will think they are pretty good, too. But as I have noted before, most people are on Medium to be read, not to read. 

I tried this same approach when I started my blog many years ago. I posted several unpublished short stories I'd written many, many years ago and posted them on my blog.  In 17 years they have only been viewed by a few hundred people. Not a very impressive statistic considering your average Tik Tok post gets several hundred views often in less than a few hours. 

The Internet is both a boon and a curse to writing. It provides you an inexpensive way to expose your writing to the world but it also buries the world in a sea of content that also makes it near impossible to be heard or read. And even if you are read, the reader moves on within seconds and rarely returns. 

I think writing started to die when we started to refer to it as content. Now it is just another so much garbage used to fill the infinite space in the cloud. A writer is viewed, swiped and forgotten in milliseconds. 

I wonder how the classically great writers would have fared in the age of the Internet? I wonder if Hemmingway would have reached for his shotgun (or bottle of rum) earlier in his life if he had to post his writing in a blog rather through a publisher?

Not that I ever really liked Hemmingway's writing even though I've grown to look like him in my old age.

Moliere said, "Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money." If he was alive today he would have discovered you can't even give it away.


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