Saturday, 5 January 2008

Using the web

Residing in Spain, I have been told (on good authority), is a complete disadvantage, somewhat disadvantageous, and not a disadvantage at all! I’ve decided to make up my own mind and have been considering how to best utilise what I have at hand; the internet.

As much as literature is forward thinking with regards the barriers of language (which are there to be perfected and smashed), when it comes to technology it can be irritatingly backward.

Fears that the publication of e-books will destroy the bookshop and printing industries stilt the growth of literature on the web, but it’s an inevitable part of development. There are hundreds of sites online where people can publish their work. This means an outlet for budding writers but also an influx of poor literature for free readily available. Can you see the danger?

Yes, there are innovators out there such as Chris Meade and Kate Pullinger (both of whom I hope to join at Arvon later this year) but generally, progress is slow and the real value is still opaque. If the literary world doesn't catch up soon I believe the internet will become singled out as a place to write rot.

Of course there have been some positive movements; The Poetry Society is working towards their centenary year researching the position of poetry in Britain and how it can be made more accessible. The Poetry Library now links to literary e-zines with an editorial process of the standard expected by print magazines. But why is the literary world still dragging its heels?

As I live in Spain but do not speak Spanish fluently, I would be ostracised from the literary world were it not for the internet; information sites, publisher and author profiles, literary blogs, forums and even You Tube. These are where I get my fix in my absence from the UK. So surely it makes sense to use this outlet to define my writing and my presence?

My website has seen many transformations over the last two years, and is now pretty much a site I can be proud of. My web presence has now grown (finalised the last few days) to incorporate poetry critiques, this publishing blog, an x365 project (see the original project here), MySpace and a novel building experiment.

All well and good; but it’s going to take some damned hard graft to make it work.

No comments: