Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Another year older...--veinglory
Looking back on the year, I notice how few blogs there are reviewing self-published books. Trusty iUniverse Book Reviews is still here. But the others are little snow covered bodies left by the side of the trail. There are in fact fewer of us now than there were at the beginning of the year, or two years ago. It made me wonder just how fine the line is between determination and stupidity. Why, exactly am I doing this at all? At about this time I heard a voice on the radio talking about a self-taught artist living in a small town in New Zealand--and how all the neighbors thought he was crazy. And then the guy on the radio (Stuart Shepherd) said:
"Self taught artists respond to an inner compulsion, or obsession, rather than locating themselves within an existing canon."
I am not a sentimentalist, or artiste driven by an inner muse or perfect genius. I do not blog because I am, but simply because I do--I feel the need to, even if I don't always know why. And there is more to it than stupidity. There is a basic respect for the artist or writer who also finds themselves well off the beaten track, with few or no companions--the isolated, niche, self taught or visionary writer. Self publishing isn't about failing to meet the needs of the mainstream. It is about existing outside that mainstream, however one comes to be there. It is a state that deserves more respect, and more attention--and not just from the neighbors who think any writer less famous than JK Rowling is basically crazy.
Not that I would mind a little more company... just saying....