14 April 2007

I am now an author

Thanks to blogs, I am now an author.

In the olden days, being an author was an achievement. It meant writing something sensible, presenting it to a publisher, and seeking an opinion. Most paths led to rejections, of course. Only those with real merit were shown to an editor – a person with literary knowledge – in a publisher’s office.

After several drafts and editing, the manuscript was made ready for publishing. That meant taking decisions on typography, formatting, cover design, paper selection, binding and print runs. Then came the hassle of distribution – reaching the printed book to prospective readers through a trade channel, the last of which was the bookstore.

For the journalist, the scholar, the poet and the short story writer, life was a little less rigorous. It meant a journey as far as the editor’s desk in a newspaper or a magazine, where a binary decision ended it all. While some authors were published, others got the thumbs down signal. Justice was swift, though some writers have complained about its fairness and quality.

In the olden days, being an author depended on intellectual prowess, grammar and creativity. It depended on labour and luck. It depended on possessing the right credentials for acceptance by editors and publishers. And, it depended on their professional (and merciful) judgment. Nothing was achieved otherwise.

Today, thanks to blogging software, I can set up my blog in three easy steps. I can write whatever I want and publish it simply by posting it online with a click of my mouse. I don’t need intellectual prowess, creativity or credentials. And to hell with grammar! It doesn’t even matter if I can spell properly, or at all.

Labour means tapping away on my computer keyboard for an hour. And the only luck I need is with my broadband connection.

Moreover, I can choose my blog format from a collection of colourful templates. I can illustrate my posts with drawings and photos. I can add music and video. I can even link my writing to other published material on the Internet.

And, distribution? Well, the whole world is my marketplace.


Madhuri said...

"The world is my marketplace" - well true, except that this market does not pay :)

runawaysun said...

Looks like I'll have to settle for love and the free cyberspace. Unless a corporate organisation hires me to plug stories for them.