Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are showing the rest of us dumb bastards how it's done.
Thanks to technology, artists are no longer dependent on publishers, record companies, art galleries, etc. All that infrastructure is increasingly obsolete as blogs, web pages and POD (print on demand) publishing become more and more ubiquitous. The D.I.Y. ethic that has pervaded music for years, thanks to the likes of Annie Difranco and others, has now moved into the writing realm...and it's long overdue.
I just paid $5.00 for the privilege of downloading the new Nine Inch Nails album, "Ghosts I-IV". Saved it to our laptop and then burned a copy for my upstairs office. It's a wonderful piece of work, totally instrumental and, as NIN's frontman Trent Reznor has noted, it was created entirely without interference, released through his own label and he keeps all the money and royalties. And I say good on ya, Trent.
It's stories like that that drew me to the notion of using my blog as my sole publishing venue. I no longer submit to magazines or presses, I have no intention of demeaning myself further by supporting that soul-killing process. Uh uh. Tried it that way for over 20 years and got absolutely fucking nowhere. No more slush piles and fucking idiot editors (and agents) for me. I don't need them any more.
And neither do you.
It takes awhile to learn the ropes and it's important not to let the technology intimidate you. Blogging and the creation of web pages/sites is a lot easier than it was even a couple of years ago. If a technophobe like me can grasp it, anybody can.
Give it a year. Take the money you would have spent on the dead-end submission process, invest in a decent computer, click over to some easy host like Wordpress and go for it. Set up your blog, load on your stories, poems, essays, novels, short films, music...and see what happens.
Really, when you think about it, what have you got to lose?
Causes Cliff Burns Supports
The Stephen Lewis Foundation, Community Radio