There is a saying in horse racing that I believe is relevant to this subject: to win a small fortune at racing you need to start with a much larger fortune. The same, I believe, can be said of writing, and certainly when it comes to self-publishing.
The great stumbling blocks to my own efforts at professional literary validation is dually my lack of a formal education and a brain that at best illuminates at a level that can be measured by candle-power and at its worst can freeze solid in mimicry of a computer screen on a really bad day. I cannot believe that J.K.Rowling and writers of her esteem suffer likewise. In my own defence I have fallen off a lot of horses in my time and on several occasions suffered kicks to the head that required short stays in hospital.
I must add that my computer skills are also sub-zero and any five-year-old could baffle me with what I consider high science but which to them is as easy as a riding a bike. When forced to upgrade from my beloved electric typewriter to a computer I bought a copy of ‘Computers For Dummies’ to help me along with the new technology at my fingertips; it baffled me then and continues to do so, which places me worse than a dummy in the interaction with the dark arts contained within the algorithms, software and random access memory of the all-dancing, all-singing computer that is my ego’s lifeline. The actions of the majority of the buttons on my laptop remain a mystery to me to this day and if it were not for the escape button I would have suffered a mental breakdown years ago and would now be certifiably committed to a secure unit in an asylum for the computer illiterate. Even now, at least once a month, I find myself asking the computer ‘why did you do that?’ I dare say computers that cost thousands no doubt rely with an opinion, suggesting it was operator error, when those of us in the know know that the devil has its demons in-built into every computer.
To return to my original question. I write as I have opinions and ideas that do not necessarily need perfect syntax and correct spelling to be worthwhile reading for the small number of people who visit either this website or my other site horsracingmatters.com. It is my ambition to write something within my lifetime that is so good or considered of such great importance that my name will be remembered decades after my death. My other half would much prefer me to write something that would earn money now and bring in royalties long after I’m dead. I fear we are both likely to remain disappointed for some time to come.
So disappointed have I become with e-book self-publishing that I have withdrawn from sale all of my novels and short story collections except ‘Linda Versus God’ as I believe the novel contains an important message that if adopted by the majority might help bring the world back from the brink. On this website, though, ‘The Abomination’ is published, a scurrilous novel that rewrites part of the gospels, explains the relationship of Jesus, the disciples and Mary Magdalen and climaxes with the bringing of religion to Britain. It is not a novel that lacks scope or indeed nerve.
For me, someone who is possibly more intelligent than he is educated, with great ideas and good opinion that he cannot express with enough adequacy to convert his readers, I write because writing, expressing what I believe to be true and occasionally insightful, is the meaning of life. To others it may be singing, religion, politics or horticulture. To me it is writing. I write, therefore I am, as Friedrich Nietzche very nearly said. The meaning of life, I believe, is what you are dedicated to, not necessarily what you are better at than the majority.
In summary; continuing to publish my writing, despite all the evidence to suggest I should leave the arena while I still have a shred of dignity left, is my way of pointing two-fingers at the literary establishment for the undemocratic, market/profit driven methods they apply when choosing who deserves publication or winners’ cheques. I may be wrong in this opinion but you cannot keep kicking a writer when he is down and not expect him to become a miserable cynic.
And there is no better proponent of the miserable cynic than me.