Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Are there too many words?

It seems that this blogging world is resplendant with writers and authors.

And maybe it's because I'm noticing the writing world more of late, but it also seems that the local bookstores in our town are brimming with "new" authors and many prolific authors with new titles and more than a few others under their belt.

It's surprising that we all have so much to say! :) The total number of words in this ever-burgeoning feast of literature must be astronomical!

Still, we find new ways to say the new things, and new ways to say the same old things. I find myself adding new blogs to my blogroll everyday and they ALL interesting and informative. I have learned so much more in these past two months just reading blogs, than any degree at any university could have given me in a year.

But is it all too much? Will we ever become so glutted on this volume of expression, of idea, of news, of story to be tired of it?

The world of The Weblog has come a long way. Maybe it's reached the zenith of it's natural bell curve - maybe it's still got further to go. I suspect the latter. There are millions more people who still want to be HEARD and get that sweet feedback in knowing that what they say and think is of value to "someone" out there. There are millions of "someones" out there, who are ready and able to soak it all in and enjoy the writing. That's the beauty of the Blog - it's so immediately reciprocal. It's brought the writer - and the reader - out in nearly all of us. We are writing furiously everything we think, know so and how to, just because it's so refreshing to be able to do this without that middle man publisher thing going on.

It's not that I have anything against publishing companies par se, but I do think they're fighting a really big battle now. Our way of relating to literary entertainment is changing inexorably. The blog has created an instant form of publishing in a short, immediately accessible format that suits our Western constraints of Time Worship.

Publishers know this and the plethora of "immediate" fiction awaiting purchase on bookshelves around the world is exploding; at least it seems to be, here, in Australia anyway. They've just GOT TO keep up with the pace of it all. So we see new authors, new titles, new ideas, new concepts and new covers every day. It must be making a few old publishing heads go grey with anxiety.

These books may be all very, very good writing (or not), and they may have taken the writer years in development and editing, but the truth is - they are for "immediate" consumption by a reading hungry public who just want the thrill of a story to carry them away for a brief time and then move on. What is left is called "remainder", sold off cheap and eventually pulped to make new books. It all seems so disposable doesn't it?

I suppose the blog is disposable too. It's a thought, an idea, a construct so brief and dissolvable within the moment that it's like Pez, fizzy on the tongue and competely forgettable unless you happen to collect the containers it comes in. Blogs are like that too in that I "collect" these written 'containers' in my blogroll and each day taste their updates as if they were sweets on which to indulge. It's heavenly entertainment but does it REALLY say anything compelling enough to last through time and history? Is it actually healthy to have so much of such a good thing? Is it a good thing at all?

I think so. On the whole, we are compelled to make our voices heard above the din. We naturally select our particular "tribe" of like-minds which say the things we like to hear or want to learn about. We are all looking for coherence in making our, understanding, understood by others and vice versa. The blog gives us this reciprocity, and the pulp fiction on those bookshelves does too in many ways. It's all learning AND it's entertainment. In this very mixed up crazy world we live in with terror supposedly around every corner, I think we crave this sweet disposable thing for the joy it brings.

Quite frankly, I think Shakespeare would've been in 7th heaven if he lived in this generation and I'm SURE his blog would be very well read indeed. :)

My take anyway :)

No comments: