As a wannabe writer, I’m often asked why I bother toiling in a field that seemingly no one cares about anymore. Not many people read fiction these days, and those that do tend to go for stories about vampires, bondage or wizards. Not a lot of room for the terminally ill misanthropes and dysfunctional families that I tend to write about.
In fact, a poll conducted by Huffington Post two years ago showed that out of the 1000 respondents only 28% had even read a single book in the preceding year! Less than a third! Our minds have turned to mush, this tech-obsessed generation that can only consume content if it is 140 characters or less. Even as I write this, I feel like the old man moaning at the young kids to get off his lawn.
So what do I do? I’m putting the finishing touches on my next book, it’s a semi-autobiographical account of my working life (think Factotum meets A Working Stiff’s Manifesto), but I wonder if I should even bother putting forth the effort anymore. The people have spoken, and they do not read fiction. Bookshops are closing their doors at an alarming rate.
But guess what? I don’t give a fuck. I write because I enjoy it. I enjoy the process. I love delving into my little worlds that I create. I love my weird and fucked up characters. I love that my bitterness and anger makes its way onto the page and that I get to share that with the world. A world that doesn’t care. A world that isn’t paying attention. There’s a freedom in that.