Monday, May 25, 2015

Why I Quit Reading About Writing.

Louis Shalako

It took a lot to get me to quit reading blog posts and informed opinions on the subject of writing, books, stories, publishing, and the industry.

At first, it was a learning experience. The truth is that I did learn something. I learned a lot. 

There is a point of rapidly diminishing returns. People are pretty good at writing provocative titles, and some of it was clearly click-bait. Some of it was from long-time industry professionals.

Therein lay the danger.

At some point, I got really tired of reading about an industry that has never taken any real notice of me. I got tired of promoting folks who were never going to give me the RT. They were never going to invite me to be in a box set with them. They were never going to give me a blurb, a guest-post, or a mention. The featured book at the bottom of their blog was never going to be mine, and it seemed that I had worked very hard to be their minion, just another doormat on the stairway to their own personal heaven.

I looked up to those people, admired them, liked them, listened to them, hung on every word sometimes, all in the rather vain hope that there was some golden nugget of wisdom in there that might help me to crack this code.

We’ve all seen some fatuous non-issues, blown out of all proportion by sophomoric, high-school immaturity. The only good thing is that they’re easy to spot.

Do I love books? I always found that a nonsensical question.

Do you have to read a lot to be an author? Gee, why would anybody think that?

What is an author? Will ebooks destroy western literature? What is a real author, who does not have the right to call themselves an author, and what about all the unedited books on Amazon?

Basically, I’ve just had enough. Even then, I kept going. It was a kind of reassurance—like bumping into an old friend. There was some level of emotional connection there.

It took some real, bitter disappointment to cut them off entirely. I had to get angry with myself, for allowing myself to be taken in. To drop my own plan, my own theories and start following their crock of shit advice.

The trouble is when some of the advice isn’t really relevant. And yet the person writing has such credibility. It’s persuasive, and you feel they’re talking directly to you.

It is the relationship that we crave, and ultimately, it is one that fails because it’s not a relationship at all. It is an illusion. It’s just another click-farm, when you get right down to it.

To tell me for the nine-hundredth time that in order to succeed, ‘first, write a good book,’ and for the nine-hundredth time, ‘get a professionally-made cover,’ does not do me any good if I am not in a position to take that advice. After twenty years on an Ontario Disability Support Program pension, I am in no position to do anything.

Most books are actually pretty good. Most of them are not brilliant. That is just the way it is.

I got tired of people saying that authors can’t spell, don’t have good grammar, can’t proofread, can’t format their own books, can’t lay out a cover, can’t promote, you must do that, you must do this, and you must do something else. Oh, and here’s one thousand, one hundred and thirty-seven MUST HAVE TOOLS FOR AUTHORS. And oh, yeah, you must spend thousands of dollars on your book if you ever want to have any hope of succeeding in this industry.

What an untalented bunch of pretentious, semi-literate boobs we must be, eh?

I’m no longer reading anything at all that has to do with this industry, ladies and gentlemen, and maybe it’s just time we accepted that fact.

But reading the same shit over and over again was too much for me. At this point in time, there are certain websites that I may never go back to again. It’s a little vow I have taken. I know exactly what I’m going to find. Advice that I can’t take, advice that is just plain wrong for my circumstances, and advice that starts off with a certain set of assumptions that in the longer term did more harm than good.

Don’t think that’s not personal, because it is.

You’ve taken all the joy out of something that used to be fun.

Screw you.


There might be some free books here if the reader would care to take a look.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Speak Softly My Love.

Louis Shalako

Speak softly my love, for the heart can never lie.

Speak softly to me, and lover, please don’t cry.

Speak softly my love, speak softly—

Speak softly, my love…for our love shall never die.

...speak softly, my love.

Speak low.

Speak softly to me my love

Speak softly and tell me

Please tell me

That you will never go.

To fall in love, is to be young again

And to count the cost

Is to die a little bit inside.