Authorship in an Age of Insta-Creation
Thank you so much for sharing this! What a thoughtful and intimate gift. I don’t consider myself a poet but it did give me some ideas for a few important people in my life.
I have struggled with this Insta-world for the last few years, I can relate with your perspective here. I found myself posting less and less because I kept questioning my intent. Was I really wanting to help people or was I doing omit for the validation and the likes? I would really like to believe I had good intentions but that’s the problem with this social media world, the lines can get blurry. I am excited to publish on Substack, it feels like a place where I can share my writing for the sake of improving my craft and maybe making someone’s day better. Back to the basics I guess:)
Once again, Jeff, you have read my mind. I cringe listening to mainstream “music” if you can even call it that. Most “artists” can barely hold a note long enough for a mixer to copy and paste, and most music is so synthesized, it’s unrealistic. I loathe trends. Always have. I hate doing what everyone else is doing simply because they’re doing it. If I’m going to do something, it just make sense to me and I have yet to find a modern trend that does. I go my own way and do my own thing. One of my favorite quotes is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, a cousin of mine, no, really, he is, “Do not go where there is a path, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.”
Anthony Doerr spent around ten years writing “All the Light We Cannot See.” And it won the Pulitzer Prize, deservedly. So it’s encouraging that in this ocean of self-published books, the cream can still rise to the top.
Love this, too.
Upgraded, Jeff. Looking forward to seeing the shape of the new writing group!
Another author friend and I discuss this all the time. We both take painstaking care to put out the very best work we are capable of, and that takes time and effort. It's nice to hear other creators feel this way too! Glad to hear from you again, it's been a hot minute. ;) I hope your wife loves the gift - what a wonderful thing!
Thanks for the reminder to consider our impact on the world before hitting publish. That's why I stay out of online debates, and rapidly lose interest in Twitter threads that turn into insult wars.
Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year to you and your wife!🥂🎆 Upon your suggestion, I just joined Substack yesterday and purchased a subscription to Ghost. I have not quite figured out how Substack works, but I have high hopes for it. I have followed your work for many years (I think since 2009 or 10) and have purchased a couple of your courses. Regrettably I have been unable to complete them or pursue my dream of publishing and public speaking until now. One favor to ask: If you do end up deleting the book you shared, (I hope you do not) is it possible that you leave the message that accompanied it? It offers valuable information about the self publishing process and confirms that my decision to subscribe was a great investment. I appreciate you very much and look forward to learning even more from you this year. May your creativity be on full throttle and keep you excited always!🙏🏼🤗
In the topic of going deep for getting knowledge I would suggest the description made by Alessandro Baricco of our relationship with it. I recommend "the barbarians" and "the game".
Insta-cretaion has been good and bad for me. I published several books just as you described: KDP, Canva, click. I've also composed dozens of electronic/ambient/drone compositions using GarageBand/BandCamp, click. There's also the traditional blog, write and post.
Have I published a few not-so-great pieces? Yes. Why? Because I could do it instantaneously. It was immediate "me" gratification. I consider myself of a professional level in regard to my writing and musical abilities. I have become dismayed and disappointed that my work has often been missed while others who have much less talent become wealthy superstars. In the past year or two I've stopped giving a crap about that.
But I guess my point here is twofold. 1. Our instant platforms are our unique histories and can include some duds. It shows growth. 2. Whereas the insta-creation age has allowed people to publish crap, it's also allowed more talented writers and creators to slip through the cracks.
Yes, it is easier than ever to create but to publish a book the first time is still a daunting thought if not task. More junk but more voices being heard than ever in history. Sorting through the noise may be the next big jaunt in history in search of the next Tolstoy or Tolkien.
My recommendation is a rather bitter pill, the author describes a new cultural method (or device) for knowledge transmission. It is intriguing and ,for old guys like myself, refreshing.
Well said Mr. Jeff. Definitely saving this for later to remind myself. We gotta slow down and appreciate the creative process from both the creator and consumer sides of the coin.
Not all of us are possessed by speed. Not all of us desire to publish-instantly.🧐I spent ten years and twelve drafts to hone my first Dog L￼eader Mysteries. Then I worked with a hybrid publisher to assess whether my manuscript full filled the mystery genre’s structure and content. Then came proof reading their proofs, and discovering over fifty typos the professionals missed. I’ve wanted to be proud of the product I produced. I wanted a book that would be Evergreen.
Jeff, this is my first adventure exploring your Substack and it's been a lovely surprise. This essay really hits. As a writer on a mission to harness the ethos of classic literature in a digital "everything is publishable" landscape, it can be quite a hefty backpack to walk around with. Sometimes, it feels a bit impossible (what's the point? do people even care?). Your voice in this debate is refreshing. I look forward to reading more!
I’ve been thinking about this crazy insta-world, myself, of late. It leaves me feeling unmotivated to even attempt creating anything to satisfy an urge that just isn’t there. Maybe there are other sources that I’ve yet to discover for this emptiness, but it seems okay to blame this chaotic world for the hollowness that makes my head spin and rattle these days.
Thanks for sharing, Jeff. Your words give me more to reflect on.