Monday, 30 November 2015

The way we live

The way we live...

In the latest journal of the Society of Authors I read in interesting article about consumerism (I'm terrible - I can't recall who wrote it). But it got me thinking about the way we live now. Netflix and my recent purchase of this on-demand product is just one example of this. And I'm always a little late to the party. I got Netflix because I want to watch  tv show and movies when I want to watch them. I don't want to sit and watch mindless tv waiting for something good to come on. I want to watch the mindless tv I choose.

Amazon too announced they will charge readers as they read for borrowed books, no longer charging for the full book. I remember a time when if I started a book I had to finish it (admittedly that was just me - but sometimes I was pleasantly surprised at the end). Okay, so I don't always finish what I start anymore, but still... it was something I was doing – there was no incentive to stop reading like there is now. Will this mean more 1* reviews if the book isn't a page turner? Even if the end is crowd pleaser?

I could be wrong, but most authors are traditionalists at heart, or so I like to think. We may embrace the Kindle, after all it has opened up the world of self-publishing, but we still cherish a paperback – holding those carefully crafted stories in our hands. And in waiting for a particular TV programme you often stumble across a show you wouldn't have ordinarily watched.  You see there is a benefit of not watching stuff on demand.

You may not agree with this. Our time is limited you say, why spend time reading something we are not going to enjoy, why waste time watching television shows with adverts. Want to read something you normally wouldn't - they call it a book club - or film club for that matter. I see your points, I do, but my issue is this: the world we live in is fast moving and it seems to be going faster and faster... Will it stop - no, it's likely to get worse. The younger grow up with life happening all around them - documented with a photo and then they quickly move on ( Geez, I sound like a gran)

We are in a fast moving world. We expect things to happen quickly, we want everything to be perfect. I'm no different. I generally get twitchy if I send an email and don't get a response the same hour... yes I have a problem. But being constantly connected via our phones and tablets, I like to say I am just a victim. Social media helps us authors, but at the same time because it's always there on your phone luring you in, if you are like me you tend to feel guilty when for not promoting your book, checking the competition and of course as you can always see what other authors and entrepreneurs are doing, you can see what you should be doing and feel the guilt.

It's not going to change, this world we live in. If you try and slow it down, you'll get left behind, or worse still trampled by a FOMO (someone with the fear of missing out on social media). So what can we do? Well, we can change ourselves - amend our expectations. I'm not saying put your standards in the gutter, but perhaps we need to asses how important something is to us, what the consequences of our expectations are before having them. And I reckon we just need to start being kinder – to ourselves (we won't get everything right, we can't do everything all of the time), to everyone else – put yourself in their shoes before making a judgement, remember that we all make mistakes and for me to note more than anyone else - be patient. Some people take longer to respond than others and what is the hurry.

Right, rant over... What I really wanted to say is that this Wednesday and next I am hosting two guest bloggers. The fabulous Elizabeth Mapson – Author of The Amazon's Girdle who is blogging about 'falling into murder' . I've read her 2nd novel at Abingdon writers and this one is on my kindle, waiting in line. She writes so beautifully, her books are definitely worth reading.  The following week Lizzy Huitson will be giving you her top tips when you start out writing. I've read the post and I have to say even if you are an established writer you will enjoy reading this. Until then...

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