Jul 30, 2012

Patton Oswalt's two letters

A conversation I've both witnessed and participated in a good deal over the past two or more years has been in the democratization of publishing - whether it be in book publishing, music publishing, video game publishing, and even video publishing. How the industries are changing, fast and furiously, with technology giving the power to create more fully into the hands of the very people who used to have to pay just to be entertained... and, meanwhile, a lot of us are left wondering exactly what the future holds.

Well, between the technology, the internet, and really interesting options like crowdfunding and self-publishing venues like Amazon, Smashwords, and Lulu....it's really left open to people like you and I to absorb more of the responsibilities and opportunities afforded us and become "every person an entrepreneur."

But Patton Oswalt created a very clever piece of conversation the other day, by sending letters out to both comedians and the people who deem themselves to be "gatekeepers" in the developmental and production sides of comedy - film, television, and so forth. But the topics he's bringing up are not, I believe, even so limiting. The same elements can be found in many fields of production, and I think it presents itself as a good launching point for discussions that people are simply, I believe, too afraid to admit.

I've seen far too many literary agents and publishers who have literally called themselves "gatekeepers". I've heard so many writers bemoan the paradox of having too few options to get picked up by these gatekeepers or having far too many options to produce their own material.

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world out there, and where it will resolve is anyone's guess. But I think Patton makes some excellent advice. Give this a read and tell me you haven't seen some of these signs on the horizon. And, if you haven't....you should really consider that you haven't been truly honest with yourself.


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