Saturday, April 11, 2009

Identity Again

For some reason, a lot of TV series recently focused on writers. Explains my current train of thought about the profession.

David Duchovny stars in Californication - about a novelist who has sex-addiction. Then, there's Castle - about a novelist who seems to have sex-addiction who solves murders with this hot detective he wants to have sex-addiction with.

Why are writers portrayed as sex addicts?

Well, I mean, sex is important for a healthy mind and body, and is the vital element in the breakfast of champions, but why does it have to be sex all the time?

We're not all perverts. I mean, I am, but some of us are asexual. You cut a piece of them, and it grows into another stupid asshole.

One thing I forgot to mention - one thing they always forget - is how to market yourself as a writer.

When I was in high school, I was into sci-fi.

One of my favourite sci-fi writers was Robert J Sawyer.

I looked him up online and read his interviews. He said, "Most Canadian writers, they pretend to be Americans. And that's where they went wrong."

See, Sawyer reasons that there are so many American sci-fi authors. Too many that the small pool of Canadian sci-fi writers would find it difficult to define themselves.

What HE did was to trump up his identity as a CANADIAN sci-fi writer.

This is what's happening to some people in Malaysia.

After finding out that they can't really fight on the global stage as a bland 'international writer', they are marketing themselves as 'Malaysian writers'.

People who used to knock the country to the ground are draping themselves with the flag and claiming their lineage.

Smart move, and I think it will work.

We have the Asian Booker Prize award, which is open to Asian writers - more achievable than the Man Booker Prize in the UK. The Newberry, World Fantasy Award, Hugo, Nebula, whatever the fuck.

People always say, oh, write with a 'voice'. I do not know what this means. Not really. But it sure as hell almost impossible to do, if you don't know yourself first.

Me? I'm a forger. I take other people's styles, and try to execute it as my own. Gaiman, Moore, Eminem. It never sounds the same. Which is good.

After a while, I got tired of them, and of copying them. So I just did whatever-the-fuck.