25 Mar 2012
Through Patrick Rhone’s post Other People’s Must Reads, I discovered the site of J.D. Bentley. Bentley is a designer, but his site is focused on his writing. The first post I read, The Californian & The New Yorker, tells of his attempt to get published in a traditional publication (the prestigious The New Yorker, no less). Tired of the mediocrity of publishing on the web, which he believes is mostly due to the ease of accessibility (almost anyone can get a blog up and running in a matter of minutes these days), he seeks vindication with his high goal. Unfortunately, they “aren’t needing any new writers right now”. He says he is relieved, and concludes:
I’m greatly disappointed that the web allows mediocrity to be so easily distributed, but I should not overlook the fact that it also offers this cheap, worldwide distribution to the thoughtful and the talented. If you work hard to learn a craft and even harder to master it, if you put great thought into what you say and who you want to say it to, then there’s no better place to be published than on a website you yourself own.
He encourages us to
Get an audience, or get better and then get an audience.
Personally, one of my goal with this site is to get an audience, but my focus is to improve my writing and thinking. Another Bentley post, Our Secret Handshake Is Not An Algorithm, explains his decision to not include a comment form on his posts, as well as his decision to block search engines. I haven’t gone so far as the second, but the lack of comments on this site is deliberate (with that said, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have something to discuss).
In recounting the article, though, I’m getting away from my point: that you should be reading it yourselves, and his other posts as well. I’ll be working my way through his past postings whenever I have the chance. Join me in the archives!
P.S. Speaking of Patrick Rhone, don’t forget Enough, his new book published digitally.