Monday, February 23, 2015




Why do writers write?

If you are a writer  you will realize that writers write for two reasons:

1. Some write because they want to earn money (commercial writing)

2. Others get the urge to write because they want to say something (creative writing)

In your case, which is the primary reason why you write?

Are you primarily a Creative Writer or a Commercial Writer?

There was a time when writers could earn enough money to make a living.

That is why writers could afford the luxury of full-time writing (and not doing a job).

But it was difficult to establish yourself as a “published author” since you were at the mercy of editors and publishers.

And only if you could establish yourself as a published author could you earn enough money from your writing to make it a full-time vocation.

It was a Catch-22 situation.

If an editor did not print your writing in a magazine or a publisher did not publish your book you were doomed to failure as a writer.

The print medium (Books and Magazines) were the only ways you could make your writing reach the reader.

Either you had to be a celebrity  or have the right “contacts” in the publishing industry  or get that “lucky break”  or keep peddling your writing doggedly despite getting rejection slip after rejection slip.

Publishers evaluated writing purely from the business point of view.

Your writing had to be “sellable”.

That is why “commercial fiction” is most sought after by editors and publishers.

The combination all these factors is the reason why many “wannabe” budding writers who tried their hand at writing, faced rejection, got frustrated, and fell by the wayside.

And since they could not financially sustain themselves  they had to give up full time creative writing and take up other professions to support their passion for writing.

To sum up:

1. Commercial Writers write to Earn Money

2. Creative Writers write because they want to Express their Inner Feelings

Suppose you observe something which stirs emotion within you – do you experience an urge to express your inner feelings – and tell others about it?

Well you can write about it – in any form – as an article – or better still as a short story or novel.


Blogging is writing in digital space.

The traditional paradigm of writing changed with the advent of the internet, proliferation of information technology and innovations like blogging in the “digital space”.

Now, “publishing” is no longer the monopoly of a handful of publishers and the stranglehold of editors is over.

Anyone who wishes to write can instantly “publish” their writing on blogs and showcase their literary work to the world.

I feel that blogging is the biggest “blessing” for those who wish to write, especially creative writers.

Yes, apart from social media, blogging is the most significant innovation of information technology.

Now, with widespread proliferation of the internet, every person has the opportunity to write.

All you have to do is to set up your blog (which is simple and free of cost on a number of popular blogging platforms like blogger, wordpress, typepad etc).

Then, you upload and publish your writings on your blog.

And, instantly, your writing is available throughout the world for people to read.

You feel a sense of “instant gratification”.

And you experience a sense of creative freedom since you have full control on what you want to write on your blog (without any external “editorial intervention”).

By removing the opaque barrier of editor/publisher between the writer and reader, blogging has enabled the reader to connect directly with the writer and facilitated mutual interaction between the two.

Blogging has proved to be a big boon to writers (who write because they want to “say something”).

If you are a writer, blogging is the best medium to satisfy your creative urge and demonstrate your literary skills to the world

Blogging is also of great benefit to readers as it has made so much material available for them to read free of cost.

Apart from blogs, there are many websites which contain a deluge of reading material in the digital space.

Many people have stopped reading printed paper and do all their reading from screens.

Technology has also progressed fast by leaps and bounds.

First you had ebook readers, and then you read on screens of PCs, Laptops and Tablets.

Now you have Smartphones.

Nowadays, people spend more time reading books on Smartphones than they do on tablets, ebook readers, PCs and laptops.

New sophisticated “eReader” applications for reading books on electronic screens are being developed in a big way to offer a superior reading experience on handheld electronic devices, especially mobile smartphones and “phablets”.

Handheld digital screens are edging out paper books

With increasing trend of reading on handheld digital screens (especially smartphones), paper books are being edged out of the market.

The shutting down of many bookstores (including the iconic Manney’s in Pune) and downsizing of bookshop chains (which restrict their stock to recent commercial fiction) bears testimony to the increasing ascendancy of the digital literary space vis-à-vis the traditional print medium.


What does this all mean for budding creative writers?

If you are a new writer then it is better to forget about “publishing” your writing in the print medium.

You will be better off if you start blogging your writing in the digital space.

A few months ago, I met a columnist who used to write columns on topical issues for print newspapers.

He told me that owing to financial considerations, newspapers were becoming thinner, both smaller in size and with lesser number of pages.

Also more pages had to given to commercial features which financially sustain the newspaper like advertisements and sponsored features (“paid news”).

The result was that there was less space for content of columnists and writers.

So the columnist was repeatedly told to keep reducing the length of his article and make it shorter and shorter, till the word count became so less that it was not possible for him to properly express what he had to say.

Finally, things reached a stage where the e-version of the newspaper (in digital space) would carry his full article and the print version would be abridged to fit into the miniscule space available.

So now, the columnist has started blogging where he can write in an unrestricted and unrestrained manner.

Let me tell you about another friend who is a voracious reader.

He travels extensively all over the world as a part of his work and he spends a lot of his time waiting at airports, in hotels or in commuting to and fro to airports.

Earlier he used to carry a book to pass time during these long waits.

Now he carried his Smartphone – he can multitask, he can network, and also read a wide variety of things via the web since internet connectivity has become so easy and accessible.

He regularly reads my blog wherever he is in the world, and he can access literature and information from websites and also read a variety of blogs and writings of his interest.


Suppose you observe something which stirs emotion within you and you experience an urge to express your inner feelings and say something, tell others, so you write about it – say, a short story.

In the “good old” pre-internet days, you would send your piece of creative writing, your story, to a magazine for publication.

And then, the agonizing wait would begin.

Some decent editors would acknowledge your contribution, and then let you know of acceptance or otherwise.

Others would not even have the courtesy of acknowledging receipt of your story.

Sometimes, there would be so much delay by the time your story was published that you yourself would have lost interest or the story would have lost its topicality.

It was similar with a manuscript of your book, if you were a new budding author.

Everything depended on the whims and fancies of the all-powerful editors and publishers.

Most unsolicited manuscripts were consigned to the slush-pile and forgotten.
Hapless authors who wanted their writings to see the light of day had no choice but spend time and effort to make the rounds of editorial offices, swallow their self respect and be ready to be pushed around.

Not anymore.

The advent of blogging has changed everything.

Now  the moment you finish writing your story  you can upload it on your blog  and  hey presto  your story will be instantaneously available worldwide for all to read.

Readers will connect with you  just like my friend can read my writing on his Smartphone – wherever he is in the world – he can instantly read my writing the moment I post my stories on my blog.

Today  More People Read on Digital Screens than Paper

The ascendancy of online Digital Literature is an undeniable reality.

It looks like: BLOGS ARE IN and BOOKS ARE OUT


That is why Blogging is the best way to showcase your Creative Writing.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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The above post is an updated version of my post REVOLUTION IN PUBLISHING  –  THE ASCENDANCY OF DIGITAL SPACE posted by me on this blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at url: 

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