As a self-professed writer (and believe me I understand the pretentiousness of this title), I have given quite a bit of thought to what it means to be literate in the age of the internet. Even before the internet the world was inundated with writing. That’s the appeal of being a writer after all, leaving behind a record of your thoughts, your characters, your life. Achieving immortality and the thrills of creation.
But for we who are writing now this very phenomenon has thrown up an insurmountable barrier.
My older brother recently shared an article with me about this subject: you can read it here. And while I’m not nearly so pessimistic and I don’t name drop nearly as much, I have to say I agree with the bulk of this.
The world is saturated with literature and literature about literature and literature about literature about literature. The scraggly little words I type out daily or scratch across the bound pages of my notebooks mean less than nothing. There is no traction any longer. Nothing to be said that hasn’t been said and nothing new under the sun. And it tires me more than I can say. And there isn’t a word I type or write or dream up that doesn’t fill me with the great sickness of cliche.
So why do I still want to write? Why do I still want to be an Author? Why do I even think such things are still possible?
Because I still believe in human life. Despite my pessimism, my belief that the world would be better without us, my knowledge of the psychological, environmental, and genetic controls dictating our every movement. I still believe that each and every one of us homo sapiens on this planet is special. I drank the Kool-aid. I bought the dream. Whatever.
I believe in my own uniqueness and the inherent worthiness of this as a motivator for creation. And I believe in the worthiness of every other living being. And maybe this means the death of literature. And maybe this means that all I write will be one more dying scream in the cacophony of the apocalypse. I’m still going to do it.
Call me Sisyphus, but this is my damn rock and I’m going to roll it.
(Bonus points if you can tell me whether I’m a positive person trying to be negative or a negative person trying to be positive!)