Saturday, 12 August 2017

Bite Me, You Egomaninnies--by Reb MacRath

Most of you are too young to remember, but you're about to learn some news--so astonishing and wonderful you can't help but cry



Well, that's enough foreplay. It's time for the news:

Once upon a time writers had actual lives. And their books were all the better for it...as were our poor addled brains. They did not spend all their time on Facebook or Twitter...doing interviews...writing blogs...traveling on extended tours. They had lives. And they had lives not only because they had enough money to have lives. No, the books they burned to write were born of a passion for life...and first-hand experience, not research snatched from Google.

Some great writers wrote quickly while others did not. Not all achieved fame in their lifetimes. But the books that do live on were grounded in experience. Rowdy and bloody or quietly blue, the one thing they all have in common is this:

They came from the hearts of real men and women who, by God, who had actual lives--and knew whereof they spoke: from the poems of Catullus to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance...from Shakespeare to Flaubert...from Byron to  Twain to Hemingway...

But that was then and this is now. 



More like the worst world, for my dough. And the egomaninnies who thrive there do nothing times nothing but eat, breathe, sleep and shit self-promotion.

My FB Notifications panel explodes with hourly alerts (initials changed to protect the guilty):
--G has written another of his 3000-word FB political rants, recreational breaks from the novels he turns out at Guinness speed
--E touts his wares on Twitter in an endless flood
--S works both FB and Twitter round the clock to hustle his 86 novels
--F posts hourly reviews of his new book on FB for 33 straight days

And on and on and on.

My poor head spins, my stomach heaves. With increasing speed I block FB Notifications for posts written by egomaninnies. And I won't bother with their books. My book shelf, of course, will be smaller than most. But the shelves will hold real books written by real people.

                                                             *****

As to Don Juan, confess that it is the sublime of that there sort of writing; it may be bawdy, but is it not good English? It may be profligate, but is it not life, is it not the thing? Could any man have written it who has not lived in the world? and tooled in a post-chaise? in a hackney coach? in a Gondola? against a wall? in a court carriage? in a vis a vis? on a table? and under it?
--Lord Byron

                                                             *****



Join me in this poignant cry:




7 comments:

Dipika Mukherjee said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean! Glad you articulated this so well.

Sandra Horn said...

Yup! But, the problem is that writers are nagged into the publicity/promotion thing by their publishers, and for indies, the world is full of books and articles telling us how to get maximum sales - mostly by pestering the life out of people including friends, as far as I can tell - but I'm with you all the way on how tedious and irritating it all is!

Bill Kirton said...

My bet is that most readers of your blog will see and deplore its truth as strongly as you do, Reb. I think, too, that it's part of a wider malaise - the easy acceptance by most that everything (including ourselves) is a 'product'. Paradoxically, we're only as real as our fictions.

Reb MacRath said...

Thanks, Dipika. Sandra and Bill, I wish I knew the solution. Some succeed quite nicely without becoming circuses. Others make their presence known without the overkill. But, without'outing' anyone, I had particular egomaniacs in mind. And dese are dose I plan to fight by finding a new, better way.

Jan Needle said...

Ah those adverts, those pleas, those free giftees. The sadness is, it makes it harder to find the good books hidden among the over-promoted dross. And if you go to that fabled desert island, you end up with the Bible and Shakespeare (and half a dozen discs.) Nuff to make you weep, innit?

Jane said...

The whole thing turns my stomach, especially when my writer friends are busy infesting their feeds with MY BOOK announcements. I'm happy for them, really I am, and a little is both interesting and informative. The rest is just spam. I try to rein myself in and just do my advertising in a targeted manner through Facebook ads.

Paul Duffau said...

Nice! I've had to unfollow a ton of writers, not just because they buried me in marketing posts/tweets, but also because many collectively decided that trolling and being permanently offended/victimized was the way to garner attention.

Maybe my books won't rocket to the top of the lists, but I can get more writing done without the noise. With enough hard work, a gob of luck, and maybe, just maybe, this writing thing will take off, all without me having to be a jerk.