Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Seeking the write path


I hate copy editing. I hate it so much I no longer do it well enough to
deserve to be paid for it. When people find that out, they will surely stop
paying me for it.

I have become a hack and worse, where once I cared enough to be good at it.

But I am bored of other people's bad prose. Bored because it doesn't tell me
anything I don't already know. Bored because nothing I read is anything but
lifeless and I simply cannot be bothered breathing life into it.

I want people to pay me to write but I am too scared to pursue it. Scared?
Not the right word. I am no longer very good at finding the right word.
Perhaps I mean timid. Perhaps enclosed.

I am certainly enclosed. Quarantined, even.

I am editing a book on marketing. It is full of pearls of wisdom, such as
that if you do business in a foreign country, you should be aware of the
laws there. Fucksake. Are young people really that dim? I suppose they are
if they are doing a degree in marketing. It doesn't get any better.

That's the only gig I currently have. It's paying the bills this month and
probably next but then I'm having to beg for another project. (Well, okay, I
have two others, but they are at a stage where they don't need the same
input from me.) Others have fallen through or gone quiet.

But if I wrote, what would I write? I do fiction, yes, but no one much
publishes fiction. I know lots of little bits about lots, but not lots about
a little, so I can't do anything specialist. I could write reviews but
everyone wants to write reviews, and in these days of Amazon and the like,
everyone does. I don't want to write technical copy and I'm too old to begin
a career in copywriting, even if it appealed, which it doesn't.

I can do blogwhingery. Maybe I should spend more time trawling big, famous
blogs and trackbacking them, trying to leach a small readership that I could
parlay into dollars. (BTW, what is the use of taking trackback pings if you
don't display the trackback? I've noted some doing that. I won't mention
names but if I tell you that it tends to be the same type that censors
comments, you'll know what type I mean.) Only kidding. These things happen
purely by chance, I think. I don't know that you could create a meme of
yourself. Besides, I'm not interested enough in talking about American
politics or American culture to gain the audience that those guys gain. And
someone's already had the idea of pretending to be a prostitute.

(That didn't stop me getting trackbacks though, and I intend to use them.
Even if my blog is primarily aimed at myself, that doesn't mean I don't want
to be read. I am vain. I would never have been Dr Zen if I wasn't. Yes,
hello? How many times have I been called an attention-seeker by someone who
has simply never considered, it seems to me, that the guy flaming the living
hide off them is hardly trying to hide away from the world and probably
doesn't get upset at being called that!)

This sounds negative, I know, but I'm not viewing my life negatively. I'm
trying to think my way through to fixing what needs to be fixed. It's not
easy when you don't have a roadmap and you don't know where you're trying to


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