Saturday, 13 June 2020

This writer's manifesto.

I am a writer.

To varying degrees of success, I have been writing poetry, songs and stories both short and long since childhood.  My ambition, however, has ever been writing novels.  As result, most literary effort undertaken in these parts was intended first as training for the difficult task of writing them.  And to serving that indifferent goal, most everything in my life has long rated little better than a distant second.

Those close to me also know that despite an abundance of strong personal opinions, I am most certainly not a politician.  While also possessing reasoned appreciation for an assortment of existential arguments, neither do I claim status as philosopher.

Above everything else however, I am perhaps most of all not a joiner.  As result, I belong to few organizations other than those from time to time necessary to collect and receive payment for vocational effort.  And much like today, at no time in the past have I belonged to or represented either religious entities or political groups.

For I am a writer and hold independence as first necessity of the job.

That’s also why I won’t be found taking part in public and political discourse of most any kind aside from casting a ballot, be it in protest or celebration.  Because as a writer, I believe my primary value to society and self is produced by recording the times in which I lived, not in promoting either personal opinions or political positions I supported during them.

So far as I’m concerned, this writer’s job is telling how it was.

As the writer’s traditional vocational havens of journalism and teaching both require devotion to masters other than historic fact and literary art meanwhile, they were each long ago rejected here.  For journalism serves the same corporate master as education, with each promoting a whitewashed fairy tale claiming to be history while selling a story its owners most want future generations to blindly purchase.

As result, much of my professional life has been devoted to securing and maintaining personal artistic independence.

Through a combination of hard work and good fortune, to date I have managed to avoid the shame of serving as either government shill or corporate toady.  The reputation for being an uncompromising motherfucker concerning my work meanwhile, is likely well-earned.  Such a vocational approach, however, imposes several immutable ethical requirements.  First; no support in the form of direct or indirect grants, loans or opportunities provided by government and taxpayer funding is acceptable.  Second; no work producing for-profit journalism, advertising or marketing is appropriate.  From there, to a writer seeking authenticity what remains should be either apparent or impossible.

Around here, the independently published novel is considered a near ideal outlet for telling history as it was.

For this writer, the essence of fiction writing is there revealed.  As the best of it provides a historical record of our follies, unvarnished.  Where it can later be reviewed by future generations in its original state, untouched by editorial puppets acting on behalf of corporate marketing departments.  There, on the pages of stories published as fiction, will most often be found the sole factual accounts of human behavior.

I am a writer, and gratefully accepted the terms of my job long ago.

There are many who claim to be writers nowadays, and most for reasons other than those at long last provided here.  It should also be noted such proclamations can deliver little comfort when so much of today’s published content provides increasingly less reflection of the terms composing either life or literature.  I’m also going to claim the information offered above is shared on behalf of posterity, and not misguided hope of provoking awareness of sacred cows looking down from towers constructed on foundations of ignorance.

But after all, I am the writer, and who but I could really say for sure?

For myself, if no one else, that bears repeating.  I am the writer.  Because the job not only pays for shit but comes with few benefits.  And after near fifty years of struggling, I have yet to find anything that so much as approximates a better fit.

How’s that for a sonofabitch?

C’est la vie.

If notions like these are your cup of tea, you can help me stay independent by purchasing a copy of my fifth and latest novel ‘Where Some Roads End’ now available everywhere on Amazon in paperback or eBook.  And for those with access to social media, you can occasionally find me on Instagram @tfprudenthewriter.

Thanks for being here.

-          TFP

June 13, 2020