Burning Books

Over the course of human history several groups have made the choice to burn books. And I think ISIS has now done the same. I’m just wondering why this happens.

I understand that during the days before electricity burning books would have been a surefire way to stop people from gaining knowledge. Imagine a town with one central library that was burned to the ground. Would the people just stop learning? No. But not having any books would make it a bit more difficult. But now we’re living in a very different age. We have the internet. We have all kinds of books in the public domain. We can gather information from so many different sources that it really makes no sense to burn books (not that it ever did).

I guess I can see it as an intimidation tactic to demonstrate that nothing is out of your reach, but burning books doesn’t really sway any opinions. Just like burning businesses, historical landmarks, or homes does nothing to change the opinions of people. With the technology that we have today (even in lesser developed countries) books can never really be burned. Printed books can be destroyed, but the information, stories, and everything that lies within the pages of a book cannot be taken away.


On this day in 2014 I published Letter From Character to Author.

 

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Amazon Launches Write On

You should be well aware of the fact that Amazon wants to dominate the book industry just from my past posts about their other programs. I don’t think they want to dominate traditional publishing, but just about everything else seems to be in their wheelhouse.

Just recently they launched Write On. The simplest way for me to explain it is to say that it is their version of Wattpad. Almost exactly. Users can upload stories as they write them and readers can follow along. Pretty simple, huh? You also should know by now that I’m pretty much in Amazon’s corner when it comes to anything they do. That isn’t changing, but I won’t be using this site. Actually, don’t let me lie. I know for certain that I won’t be using the site to read other stories. But who knows, I might use it once I have more written of my current WIP? I doubt it, but I can’t say for certain one way or the other.

What do you think? Will Amazon pull away from Wattpad or just sit back in its shadow?

You can learn more about the new site here.


On this day in 2014 I published The Stigma of Self Publishing.

 

What it’s Like Being Married to a Writer

On this day in 2014 I published Saturday Selects: Tattoos Becoming “Mainstream?”.


Okay. I obviously have no experience with the whole marriage thing, thankfully. But I came across an article that seems to explain what it would be like to be married to a writer. At least it seems reasonable enough to me.

What do I think it would be like to be married to a writer? Honestly, not much different from being married to any other person. I think you’d be asked to read really rough drafts of stories. I think there’d be some personal details of your life in their stories, whether you like it or not. And I think you’d constantly be asked random questions that almost bewilder you because you can’t imagine ever considering your response before being asked. And…that’s about it. I don’t think it would be any better or worse than being married to someone in another profession. But that’s just me, and I know nothing.

I came across this article that inspired this post.

What do you think? You’re probably a writer, what’s it like being married to you?

 

Guest Post: I’m going to slit my wrists if you don’t publish me…

… Well not really. Hmm, scratch that, I’m only kinda telling the truth.

The fact is I have had my moments, you know the type, the devastating (albeit occasionally histrionic) outbursts of “it’s not fair! Why me? What have I ever done to anyone? Who was I in a past life? Hitler!” Okay, so maybe that last one is just me. However, I have spoken to enough writers to know that emotions of desolate desperation at never being read (at least by enough people) or known are ones that attack many of us at some point in our turbulent creative journeys.

I have been writing from a very young age, seriously trying to get some sort of recognition for the past seven years or so (on an off and on basis in all honesty) and have given up on my attempts at many intervals during my writing “career”.

The countless knockbacks classily framed in those “sincere” rejection letters that have so obviously been meticulously crafted for me personally [come on publishing/literary agents, at least change the font and colour when you cut (and may I add creatively misspell) and paste my name assuring me there is someone out there with whom my story is going to click eventually, I just need to find that needle in the haystack] were enough for me on an individual basis to throw in the towel once and for all.

I would just stop, there would be no calm before the storm or voodoo inspired smoke signs before the eventual demise of my pen (or keyboard), I would seriously just get up one morning and that would be it. No more writing, no more creation, nothing. Nada. Blank space full stop.

When I look back on those times when my imagination would be firmly tucked away in the abyss that occupied the supposed artistic section of my cranium, I wonder if I was truly fine not writing. I have been innovating places, people, stories, worlds, everything and anything really that my brain can possibly conjure up for so long now, I don’t really know how not to do it.

It was only when my extremely insightful father asked me one day, “Why do you write?” that I truly reflected on the reason.

“Why do I write?” I asked myself aloud one day. I mean before all the drama and the hypocritically enamoured materialism set in, why was I writing at six? It wasn’t for the publishers. God knows I never really wrote anything to be read, I just wrote because I had to, because it made me happy, because it kept me sane and safe in a world I still, till this day, often struggle to comprehend.

Screw the publishers, I thought. Kick the literary agents to the kerb, I mentally screamed. I will write because I don’t know how not to. Not for the money, or the elusive and often fallible “fame” associated with compiling a bestseller, but solely because I can’t not write.

When I would open up the dam I had forcefully deployed to block all the creativity within me and commence on my imperfect path to writing heaven, my mind would seriously punish me by not allowing me to sleep for weeks, often months. It was like opening up a realm of wonder, full of untapped imagination that was just waiting impatiently to pounce, rip apart any sort of entrapping realism I was attempting to band aid on.

The reality is it is much more torturous for me not to write than it is to. Sure, the chances of being read by anyone really is meagrely slim, but those few and far between who do, make me so much more grateful. Who knows if I’ll ever be “famous”, but accepting my fate as a writer (successful or not) makes me that much more content to do what I don’t just love to do, but in unbridled reality, have to do.

Last time I checked, breathing isn’t an option, it’s survival and I don’t need the act to be recorded on television or anything. Similarly, writing for me is living.

So, what does writing mean to you? Truly?

MP Sharma

Any Reason to Use Wattpad?

logo_Wattpad

On this day in 2014 I published Male or Female Protagonist: Why does it even matter?.


I’ve never used Wattpad. I can’t even remember playing around on the site. But I know a lot of bloggers use it. I’m just wondering if it’s actually useful.

I’m not going to pretend to know exactly how it works, but from what I’ve heard I gather it lets users create an account and then post original stories. Am I on the right track here? I guess one can receive feedback, perhaps? Not sure. But I’m just trying to figure out what draws a writer to the site. I can understand someone sharing one of their first stories, but I’m not sure I see any positive coming from an experienced writer sharing a new story that could be self published or pitched to an agent or entered into a competition. I just don’t see the point.

I’m not against the site. I’ve never used it. But outside of someone just beginning their writing journey, I’m not sure it’s really all that useful. If you’ve proven yourself as a writer, published or not, why use Wattpad? I don’t know the answer.

Photo Credit: Wattpad