I spent all weekend attending the Writers Union of Canada's annual general meeting in Toronto. A major topic of discussion was the effect of digital media upon writing: in creation (are we stringent enough editors of our own work when we write on the computer?), production (print on demand? e-books?), dissemination (who holds electronic rights? who is recompensed, if anyone is, for them? how free should information be? when is our work not "information"?), and promotion (web presence seems to be mandatory for writers these days, as publishing houses do less for backlist and midlist writers; some writers have cultivated readership almost entirely through their blogs).
According to the experts, I am not using this blog properly! I should update it much more often, and tell the world what I'm reading and writing,so that you will all eagerly anticipate my next book and line up to buy it. Can there actually be anyone out there who actually wants to know what I'm reading (just finished two books of short stories by Ali Smith and started Fabrizio's Return by Mark Frutkin), much less what I'm writing (revising my book of linked short stories for kids as a novel, leaving out two stories to save for later books in the projected series and writing new chapters instead; writing a murder mystery set in contemporary Toronto; working on some new poems), much less what other literary projects occupy my time (going over the proofs for a big book on the geography of aging in Canada that I edited for McGill Queens University Press). And if I tell you this stuff, will you tell all your friends to read my blog and buy my books?
Because that's the real issue, isn't it.