To plug, or not to plug: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outraged bloggers,
Or to take gifts against a sea of adverts,
And by opposing end them? To die: gift free.
Would Shakespeare have written that today, a wannabe screenwriter, reduced to mere blogging to practice his craft? Accepting gifts and bribes from the Corporate world, some relevant to him, most not. There’s a part of me that thinks he might, well especially before his independent art house film got picked up and bastardised by Hollywood anyway. I don’t know enough about Shakespeare the man, to know if he wrote for the love of writing, or to keep a roof over his head. You’ve got to hope that someone that wrote ‘Love is too young to know what conscience is,’ was doing it for more than mere trinkets and baubles. But a man’s got to eat, no?
I am in no way shape or form comparing myself to the great man, sometimes I have to stop and think if there’s an ‘e’ at the end of his name, but we all have aspirations to be published one day. I don’t know if writing something with the pure intention of selling a product, makes you a better or worse writer. Is there a skill involved in trying to hide the fact that you’re a corporate glove puppet whilst actually selling the product at the same time? Or is that just a white lie you tell yourself before you attempt to look in the writers’ mirror?
I guess we all have pieces of work that make us cringe when looking back on them, but does knowing someone gave you a new knife set for writing it make you feel better or worse? Maybe it depends on how you see yourself. Am I a writer that happens to write a Daddy blog, or am I a Daddy blogger? I guess if it’s the later then it’s OK to take whatever the Fat Cats want to throw at you. Parent blogging is seen as big business by those in the know, we’re relatively cheap to bribe, and everyone’s a winner. Who can’t do with more toys, nappies, wine tokens?
But what if you want to either be seen as, or become a serious writer? If I’m going to sell my soul to the Devil then surely I should demand something a bit more than new pots and pans. Surely a Pulitzer, or a Booker maybe, or heaven forbid a Best Original Screenplay Oscar would be better compensation. There’s a good chance I would sell my three children’s souls for those awards, well two of theirs anyway, I think one of them have made their own deal already.
Or am I doing us bloggers a disservice? Apparently we are the reason that the print media is in decline so we must have some power. Our content is free, often quick to produce, and has no overheads. We have no big shot owners or political flunkies to appease, we can write what we want and when we want it. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times, all of them carry adverts, does that make them less of a paper? The Huffington Post has some of the world’s best bloggers writing for them, but they still run adverts alongside the content.
Anyway, I’m just starting to ramble now. I created myself a soapbox then didn’t know what to say once I climbed on board. I apologise for the lack of humour in this post, it’s just that I nearly pressed ‘publish’ on a blog that contained the sentence ‘Luckily **** Stores, who have some amazing online stores where I can get everything from cookware to lights’, and it seems to have shaken all the laughter out of me. Normal smart arse service will be resumed soon I’m sure.