The Wankery of The Self-Meme.

We all hope that we write profoundly.

We all hope that our words stir emotions in others, make them feel everything that our sometimes clumsy craft aspires to and that they sit back in the end and think, “my life is profoundly changed by what I have just read and damn it, the person that wrote it is so deep and nuanced I absolutely MUST have long and luxurious sex with them!”

Or something like that.

Fortunately, though, we have no control over such matters. As it has ever been, readers will decide in their own minds, to their own tastes and in their own ways what will elicit admiration from them. The writer need not concern themselves with the after effects of their work, only with fully possessing the words they furiously share and giving the entirety of themselves to them with the immediacy of the moment that they are created. They may also, at some point during these moments of creative passion, pray that they receive a paycheck of some description within their lifetime.

Yet none of these desires, in my esteemed and highly sought after opinion, excuses the practice of ‘self-meme’ (patent pending). This trend has become noticeable to me of late through that dread disease known as ‘social media.’ I have witnessed writers of articles who, presumably in the interest of self promotion, have begun creating memes to further their cause. These usually contain a quote from their own article which they have obviously decided is deserving of awe and are placed upon a heart-warming picture of some description which they took on their last holiday.

This runs against the entire logic of a meme, which is an arbitrary creation, usually an appropriation of someone else’s work, which is taken up by the masses before inevitably being hurled down the garbage shoot of popular culture. Creating your own meme’s of your own work is like entering a talent contest where every contestant votes for themselves.

In the hopes of keeping up with such a flagrant tide of self-promotion, I can be found most weekdays wandering the streets of my home town wearing a giant sandwich board upon which is writ, “Please read me! I’m awfully interesting!” If this should fail to garner the attention my actual work refuses to, then I am prepared to pay drunken sailors an appropriate fee to have small chapters of my work tattooed upon their persons.

I am sure John Steinbeck would have gladly taken a course in sky writing if he thought it might get him a few more ‘likes’, while upon any given Tuesday evening, you would often find Jane Austen down the local pub, scribbling quotes from her own works on the backs of toilet stall doors with a screwdriver.

When the words alone are not enough, then please don’t hesitate to self promote in any way you feel is suitable. I always ensure that when I am chained to the laptop and furiously writing, that I am wearing a low cut top in the off chance that someone of note might be peering through my parlor window as they pass.  In quieter times I offer sexual favours to those willing to drop occasional quotes of mine into casual conversation at dinner parties.

So far it has garnered me seven new views for my web page and a scorching case of gonorrhea.

Oh, the lengths us writers of middling talent will go to.

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