Thursday, September 10, 2009

The One About Being A Writer

I've been meandering about the internet for years. I've always enjoyed a peek into others lives, and I've always enjoyed hearing opinions other than my own. For years, blogs have afforded me just those things. Recently though, I've noticed a disturbing trend. Maybe it's not disturbing in general, but it's disturbing to me. Everyone seems to fancy themselves a "writer". And in my opinion, once you fancy yourself a "writer", it's the actual writing that suffers.

What's happened over the past few years is that media and money has invaded the blogosphere. As bloggers unite under different labels and as the media recognizes the power of those labels, the creativity and much of the "truth" is sucked right out of the process. Folks begin shilling for numbers, both in traffic and literal dollars. And it's the writing that suffers.

It's like a virus really,and the infection begins when their popularity grows. The writing growers weaker, the opinions become weaker, and dissension or disagreement is not tolerated. The other symptom is the proliferation of plagiarized writing styles or subject matter. The writers claim that they're taking inspiration from other bloggers, in reality, it's plagiarism. Ideas and subjects literally stolen from somewhere else. To the reader, it becomes the equivalent of a 7th grade English class. You get to read 30 articles on the same subject, using basically the same tone.

Then the virus spreads, like a head cold moving to your chest. The endorsements show up, the review blogs begin. The opening of all of these is the formula "I'm here to help" post. It should actually read "I'm here to help as long as someone places the product with me and pays me to use it." Not exactly an honest appraisal. But the sycophants eat it up.

I have nothing against making a few bucks when you can. I would never say that I wouldn't do the same things given the opportunity. But I can't help but mourn the loss of the true voice, the true artists. The folks who just say it because it's on their mind, the folks who write for themselves and not the audience. The people who are just "people who write" not "writers".


jennster said...

this was REALLY well written adn i can relate on so many levels and in so many ways. wow, HOW AM I THE ONLY WHO HAS COMMENTED??? this post is great. i hear you. :)

Nyt said...

Thanks for that. My exposure around the internetz is, um, a bit limited. But I am looking forward to more folks stopping by...