Writing and Content

Thirty years ago when someone said they wanted to be a writer, it was clear what they meant.  They wanted to put pen to paper, and concoct novels, short stories, poems, or songs.  They would come up with the stories they wanted to share, and then look for an agent or publisher in order to sell their work.  This is changing.

Over the past twenty years, the digital age has exploded, and writing is now a loose term.  People are bloggers, tweeters, and even texters.  It is no longer necessary for a person to be face to face or even ear to ear to communicate.  Ideas are now shared in 280 characters or less.  This has lead to an even faster lifestyle pace.  Today’s generation no longer has the patience to sit down and read 300 pages.  They want to know now, as concisely as possible.

According to the article When Writing Becomes Content by Lisa Dush, the word content is broken down into four components: “conditional, computable, networked, and commodified.”(P174)  If one of these are missing the writing is not content, and will most likely be dismissed.  Colleges are now offering more and more classes in content writing than any other type.  This is because so many fields are looking for these professionals.

I found this article very interesting, but also a little disheartening.  While the field of career opportunities for content writers is expanding exponentially, I am questioning the opportunities for the novelist.  In another twenty years is there going to be anyone who wants to sit down and actually read a book?

The course of publishing is also changing from publishing houses that are difficult to enter into, to self-publishing companies.  Anyone can publish this way.  However, there are some that are similar to publishing houses in that they assist the author to market and sell the book.  But, will these also fall by the wayside?