Fact is people really, really believe a million monkeys on a million laptops can write a best seller. So they buy a laptop huddle over it like monkeys do and, scratch, scratch, click, click, whatever keys look attractive and catch their fancy.
A recent conversation made me think the above as the person I was talking to was in no way aware of the realities of the publishing world. This person was, what shall I say, oozing confidence that all she has to do is to find time to finish the novel for the hungry editors waiting in publishing houses. It goes without saying that millions of mutinous hordes are also waiting at bookshops for her creative output to hit the shelves, a la Julianne K Rowlings. And, here I am having contacted several publishers, submitted my novel and waiting for that email or phone call. Oh, misery!
Apparently aspiring authors nowadays say, “Yeah, when million monkeys can scratch their keyboards and come out with a bestseller, just like that… what’s her name… then mine is far better and it’s definitely going to be published.”
The whole thing about writing now has become: buy a laptop or desktop for that matter, and then go on clicking at random, whatever, I mean, whatever comes to mind in a disjointed, self-pitying effusion. Everybody has some slight, some bitter experience that would shock somebody, and it’s the shock value authors are hell bent on making them a success. After all, literature dwells on the forbidden realm of human experience, and it’s from this obscurity that the brilliance of serendipity strikes.
But then think of the millions right now pounding their laptop keyboards just to be a shade better than those imaginary million monkeys! Oh, god, it’s so awful, I just want to scream, “Why didn’t I choose some other path to success and fame?” Mumble, mumble, scratch, scratch!
All this when there are a million other authors [not monkeys] more talented than I; who have fallen into the huge cracks within the submission-rejection cycle.
UPDATE:Poet David Raphael Israel said...
John, the tone of voice, rueful view, self-irony, etc. -- all these elements make this a very appealing piece of writing . . . indeed, I would even hazard saying, this could be incorporated into a work (the millionth-and-one submission that indeed manages to attract the yearned-for approval); there is a pleasing novelistic quality here, in short. Please proceed!
John said... Hi David, You make my eyes go moist man! Thanks a million. Yes, I will proceed, as suggested by you. Tearfully, John
million monkeys on laptops | aspiring authors |