Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Disposable Words




I have a guest blog post today as my post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group this month. I'd like to introduce, to those of you who don't know him, Chris Hamilton. He is a writer and the blogger for the Florida Writers Association, of which I am a member. After reading this post I thought it would be perfect for today's posting. Please let me know what you think...
 
 
 
 
August 29, 2013

Every child my age made an ashtray like this. in some cases, it's more rare and valuable than our words. Makes you wonder.

I did the math once about the number of words I write each year on this blog. Without getting into the algorithm, the numbers around 120,000 words a year.
I thought about that as I looked at a bowl at my parents’ house that I think was made by someone too young to vote–a grandchild. And I thought about artisans and other artists and what they produce and the value of what they produce.
And then I thought about writers and about writers who blog.
It would be pretentious to equate what’s produced on this blog with actual artwork. It’s not the design of this blog to be art. It’s supposed to provide information and something for you to think about as a writer. It’s not meant to be something to treasure and hang onto for generations to come.
In a related note, there’s a lot of talk about how the inundation of digital content is driving down the monetary value of what we produce. But if you look at the economics of the situation, what we produce is more plentiful than it ever has been. And I don’t mean just self-published books. There are blogs and an infinite number of websites for fun and information.
When I was a kid, the only way to find out how the Mets did and check details was to wait for each day’s Schenectady Gazette. Because it was the only place to get information, it was worthwhile for me to pay for the paper. I kept up the tradition for years, moving past the Gazette to the USA Today, the Albany Times-Union, the Washington Post and Washington Times, the Arizona Republic, and the Chicago Tribune. Only after we moved to Florida did I decide that the paper wasn’t worth the money for me because there were an infinite number of places to go for box scores and other news.
And so here we are, us writers, blithely producing content to build our online presence. The amount of free content is nearly endless. And we complain about how the value of our work seems to be falling–with good reason.
But maybe it’s falling because at least some of it is built for now. By tomorrow at this time, another post will appear in this spot. This will become just a single pebble under the stream. In two or three days, no one will remember it.
It’s too bad that way. Leads you to wonder if more is necessarily better.

17 comments:

  1. I hate to say it, but I agree with you. There's so much out there, and it's not necessarily good. I'm starting to take a hard look at what I write and asking, is this worth reading? Definitely not sometimes.

    Happy two years IWSG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy 2 to you as well! Thanks for dropping by. When I posted I hadn't realized this was such a special post to be a part of! And, that "we" are soon to have our own webpage!!! Go Alex!

      Delete
  2. Hi, Lisa and Chris,

    Nice to 'meet' you both.

    I'd agree that more isn't necessarily better, but I'd like to think that although information seems to be transient on the net, something I've written might help some other writer one day. That's the part of the internet and the info it contains that's good and bad. Whatever you put there stays forever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree completely Joy! I think that is part of what makes putting words out there so much fun, and also a challenge. I, too, hope my words help, and that's why I posted Chris's blog here. I think it's good to remind ourselves of what we are doing and to stay true to ourselves and the good we can do others.

      Delete
  3. I am stunned by the wisdom and accuracy of your words, Lisa. Maybe what's so intriguing about our generation is we're being forced to think outside the box, to seek our true selves by being authentic and original. Scares me sometimes that I may never have an original thought. And then I look to my friends and family, and realize that's not what this is about. It's about telling stories in our unique voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Joylene. Trusting in our own voices to tell the stories we have. It's hard to do, but necessary. I so relate on the not having an original thought!

      Delete
  4. Hi Lisa, it's so nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by my post earlier! :) Nice to meet you, Chris! More isn't necessarily better, that's true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by D. Darko Girl! Jennifer, so glad you left a message, and now we are connected. Thanks for your nod to Chris as well...

      Delete
  5. I think we've always had the information available to us, it was just shared differently. Sometimes not even that if it was inside someone who never revealed. Now we can share so much more.

    About 5 years ago I read an article from Time Magazine that talked about how the Internet would change things. I showed a pyramid with a tiny chunk at the top that represented big publishers and a huge chunk at the bottom with free online content. It was predicting the future, but I think we are there now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Five years ago, a lot has changed since then on the internet and in the world because of the internet. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment! I really enjoyed your blog!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing this, Chris. Very thoughtful. I want to be useful above all things.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yo Lisa! Yo Chris!

    Every word written and the series of words that connect the thoughts, are artwork unto themselves. Artwork to those who can appreciate, who understand.

    In the digital age, yes what you write on a blog, may seem to be forgotten in the blink of a technological eye. Yet, the digital age has also given those who never had a platform before, a platform to share with others. In turn we all share. That's encouraging.

    Stay chillin',

    Snoop Bloggy Dog in da Gangsta's Pawadise!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The world is changing at such a rapid pace. But at the same time, we won't know who our words touch. They might last far longer, in some cases, than we ever expected.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hear you, Chris. It always seems that, like our parents and our grandparents, each generation longs for a 'simpler time'.

    Sort of makes you wonder if times were ever that simple....

    Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think that we just have to try the best we can in the hope of striking a chord. It's all about relating on some level. Lisa, Thanks for hosting Chris!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  11. Out of thousands and thousands of words, if only one sentence you write touches somebody in a positive and uplifting manner... leaves a lasting impression on that person... then I think it would have been worth it...?
    Great thoughts here Lisa... the closing sentence makes me think of the saying, less is more.
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sometimes we don't know what will draw the masses on a certain day - or continue to draw them years later.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I may not always be able to respond to the comments you leave, HOWEVER, I will ALWAYS go to your blog and leave a comment myself! Who knows, I might even subscribe to your blog like you might subscribe to mine! Appreciate you dropping by.