Belated New Year

I haven’t had the time to blog this month. Except for today–the last day of January. And even now, I’m rushing through this post as I’m getting ready for bed, just trying to make sure I at least get something up in the month of January. It’s funny–being a writer and having a blog, I feel guilty if I don’t write (especially fiction) and I feel guilty if I don’t get at least one blog post up per month–and so the past few months, I’ve felt particularly guilty because I’ve hardly done either kind of writing.

This brings me to my New Year list. You could call it a list of resolutions, but I think most people are always resolving to better themselves in some way throughout the year. These are personal wishes for myself that I always have in mind, but the new year gives me a reason to revisit and recognize them:

1. I’ll try NOT to feel guilty and anxious for not writing. And I’ll prevent that feeling of guilt by either sitting down and writing for one hour per week at least (start small), submitting work to literary magazines, or by recognizing when I actually just don’t have the time–and be okay with that.

2. I won’t buy any more books until I’ve read all the books I already own, waiting in the bookcase or on my Kindle  (unless it’s an emergency–avid readers, you know what I’m talking about).

3. I’ll continue to get at least one blog post up per month.

4. I’ll share my thoughts on each book I read, even if it’s just for the sake of catharsis.

5. I’ll remember that we are all perfect in our imperfection. And that we are always moving toward our goals, however slowly. Life is never static.

I wanted this post to be a little more uplifting because I have seen some terrific New Years posts about following your dreams and all that, but I also just have to be real about my thoughts right now.

Readers, I’m actually more interested in hearing about your goals, especially if any pertain to reading, writing, or creativity, as I know we all need motivation in those areas. Anything you’d like to share?

Should We Chat About E-Readers Now?

Photo Credit: The Guardian

Oh yes. I brought it up and you knew it was coming. A blog about books and writing without one post on e-readers? I couldn’t let The Anxiety of Authorship be too unique.

I’m breaking down to talk about this now because I do have some information from the publishing industry. Not huge information, but something on the subject. A few weeks ago, we received an email that a new digital/e-book sales team was being implemented. This means it’s real. E-books are a real thing that are going to have their own nook (no pun!) in our company. It was a smart business move–publishing houses have to keep up with technology and do what they can to be monetarily efficient. So the professional in me feels good. The consumer in me is a little worried.

I guess before I got the email, I didn’t really believe in all of it. Not that I didn’t know e-books are a big deal–and I even have a Kindle I received as a graduation present last year–but I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see all of the books on every shelf in the world becoming invisible.

Well, that’s extreme. I still don’t think that will happen. And I’m definitely not opposed to e-readers at all. They’re a spark in our culture where reading for pleasure isn’t a given for the majority anymore.

I think there’s too many people out there who are passionate about the individuality of each book–the art, the feel, the smell–to let what happened to CDs happen to books. Maybe it’s because we all saw how Napster and subsequent MP3 programs ruined the CD–and we were all probably part of that demise too.

These changes don’t have to be evil, though. To reference the keynote speaker at my college graduation, Michael Korda (Editor-in-Chief emeritus of Simon and Schuster, actually), the change from paper books to e-books could be as monumental as the change from etching words onto stone and parchment to the advent of the printing press. We don’t need to resist it.

I just don’t want it to kill the industry. I don’t want to see authors and publishers not getting paid for their work because everyone is just downloading books illegally. And I certainly don’t want to see all of the bookstores, both indie and mainstream, close up forever. Poor Borders.

A happy medium would be amazing. But is it possible?