I had a discussion with a friend yesterday who said he appreciates that lots of us indie authors offer our thoughts about various subjects, and our general life philosophies, on our blogs in addition to stuff about writing.
I found this fascinating. It also dovetails with what friend of the blog, author Alexandru Constantin wrote in his recent blog post “Rethinking the Blog“:
>Yet the biggest undercurrent of development in my growth as a writer has been in the scope of the politic. The more I’ve delved into the culture of the creative the more I’ve realized that all art is strictly in the philosophical and the political. Every act of art is political and cultural because culture is anchored in the political. Culture does not exist independent of politics, because culture is intertwined and reflects the philosophy of the creator.
Accepting the above fact means that I’m no longer going to shy away from using this medium to discuss my philosophical and political observations. Views that have matured and changed drastically in the past five years.
Practically what this means is that I will be using this place as a home not just for my writing but for my observations on culture, life, politics, and religion.
Many people lament that there’s no mystery surrounding their favorite creators anymore. The Internet has taught us that lots of our beloved actors, musicians, comedians, artists, and writers are horrible and sometimes downright evil human beings.
I would say this has always been the case. And artists in the past have shared their ideas about other things and not just their artistic medium. This just didn’t have the ability to be broadcast so far, so fast.
Authors have been engaging in other topics for centuries. Look at Jonathan Swift. Best known for wickedly satirical Gulliver’s Travels, Swift was also an essayist and wrote polemical pamphlets about religious and political issues. Johann Goethe likewise wrote about politics and religion, and like Swift, was actively involved in both spheres. These writers did it all!
More recently, we know that C.S. Lewis’s fiction was but one aspect of the man, as he wrote extensively about Christianity. And there are many other modern writers–who we would consider more “literary”–who have many irons on the fire in different areas, such as Joyce Carol Oats and the late Kurt Vonnegut.
This is why I have never shied away from topics on this blog, although I try to keep things respectful–I’m not John Scalzi or N.K. Jemisin. I want everyone to read my thoughts and my fiction, whether they agree with me or not. My goal is to entertain, not insult.
In other words, I want to do the opposite of Stephen King.
Okay, that was a bit of an insult.
This is also why I jokingly call myself “either a Renaissance man or a dilettante, depending on whom you ask.” There is so much interesting stuff in the world to be confined to one aspect of it. Hence Amatopia: amateur + utopia.
Like Alexandru, I believe that everything in a culture is connected, and that our stories are the most powerful and important things. That’s why I want to write them and share them with the world.
To those who want to maintain an air of mystery, I find you admirable and wish I had that instinct. Maybe I’m a loudmouth with a center-of-attention complex. Really, I want to sell books. I’m not going to get rich doing this. I just want to share my work.
And a whole bunch of other thoughts as well.
Speaking of my work, my debut novel A Traitor to Dreams is still on sale for $0.99! If you like what you read on the blog, you’ll love my book and have a great time. Plus, it’s got more swordfights and intrigue, plus a woman with a screwdriver.