Thursday, May 17, 2012

"What is it?" "It's a book!" "Ohhh!"

"Nobody reads anymore.  What are you doing Philip?" - voice in my head I call "Stinky-Face"

I can't say how many times I've heard someone say this to me.  Maybe they're not as annoyingly direct as Stinky-Face, but I hear it over and over, yes and alas, over.

"Of course," people say, "I guess you can write for videos and, um, instruction manuals, except for IKEA of course."  Give me a break, are we really that far gone?!

With the drastic changes in communication going on, perhaps there is some truth in what people say, but in my not-so-humble opinion writing has been around for a while, and I don't think it's going anywhere.

If nothing else, if all else fails, if the whole world goes back to grunting and clubbing each-other with Blackberrys and I-thingies, people are going to read and write.  Why?  Because it's challenging, fun and life giving - like breathing and eating.

It is hard to put thoughts down, but if we don't, and we have a writer's bent (I think many more people do than we think - if you're actually reading this you probably have a writers bent btw) we're simply going to burst.  Then words are going to spill out of our guts all over the place and it's going to be an ugly mess.  I know I won't want to clean it up.  "Yuk, is somebody missing their spleen and the word 'cantankerous'?"

When we all get Google-ized, and computer chips are implanted in our brains with the ability to reference anything, any book or movie ever done, our brains are still going to have to do the hard work of processing. And my guess is, people will get such migraines from this that they'll rediscover the magical rectangular thingies made of paper.  There will be a colossal world-wide sigh when people rediscover books again.

I've heard the statistic that 60% of today's college graduates will never read a book cover to cover again.  But I'd argue that 60% of college graduates are going to be really, really sad.  And at least 60% of people would say they feel unfulfilled.  Hmmm...

I'm kind of a hypocrite I guess, as I don't write the old fashioned way.  I write on my tiny little computer, fingers buzzing away, hearing the delightful little clicks of my key-board and just rejoicing in seeing my thoughts take shape and turn into these beautiful black and white objects on my screen.  I've been told that writing with pen and paper is more tactile and more satisfying.  Honestly, I'm not sure I could handle anything more satisfying, writing-wise of course.

So while mediums and tools will change I'm sure, there will always be work for writers.  Maybe we'll be called something else, and we'll get paid less (that's probably not possible) but we'll always be writers.  Why?  Because God created us to create.

And there's one more thing I wanted to mention before I sign off for the day in blog-a-world.  If there's even the tiniest itch in the back of your brain saying you should write, BEGIN!  Do it quick because with humanity's luck we're going to have these Google chips go in right where you're feeling that itch.  No seriously, begin and make the worst mess you possibly can.  The messier the better.

Why?  Because there are people out here like me, who are getting tired of what Stinky-Face has to say, and really want to read your stuff.  I know I do, no matter how bad it is.  So if this inspires you and you start a blog, which is easier than getting a speeding ticket, SEND IT TO ME!  I want to read my friends stuff!  For a good book to get you started, and it's only $3.99 online, buy "You Are a Writer (so start acting like one)".  Of course I haven't finished it.  But I only feel fulfilled about 40% of the time anyway.