July 2020. The IWSG team suggest today that we tell you our predictions for writing and books in ten years time. Yesterday, I read a thing on what it’s like to have to go on a ventilator if you get Covid-19. It scared me so silly that I can’t even bear to think about ten years time. I need to get my act together so that someone can look after my books, published and near-published, and make sure my accounts aren’t left high and dry. It’s not a job for my executor, after all.
Trigger warning: don’t read if you’re feeling depressed, or if you’re a fuel-guzzling white supremacist.
July 2020 – the highlights
Yes, climate change is now hitting us, just as the worst case scenarios from the millennium suggested.
No, dear teenagers. Not all over forty-somethings are ignorant and selfish. Some of us, and some people in their eighties, have been working on this for decades. Politicians and business short-term self-interest got us into this mess, even when one of the most respected business/economics names (Nicholas Stern) explained that we could invest a small amount to combat it in the 2000s and avoid calamitous costs.
Greed and self-interest are what rules this world.
Although, most of us are nice kind people who go out of our way to help people and make things better for those around us. (Read Humankind, I’ll be reviewing it later this month or early next).
Mark Coker (smashwords) gave a good assessment of the current trends and where they are likely to lead us, climatically, economically and politically. Have a good read of it.
People will still be writing, and wanting to publish their books. Most will be self-published, and more traditional publishers will have gone bust. Independent book retailers will need to remodel themselves as champions of the ebook as well as the printed word.
People will not be spending much money, because they won’t be earning it. Food prices and other essentials will mean limited amounts left for books.
If the world has sorted its fuel economy out, we’ll be living in a machine age. Read E M Forster’s excellent short story The Machine Stops for a picture of what life could be like. The scenario of the hero’s mother sitting at home in her one room pod, preparing a presentation—on material that everyone knows—for a Zoom-like gathering, is so chillingly like life in lockdown you can’t imagine Forster wrote this in the 1900s. I first read it at school and it’s been haunting me ever since.2030 'Writers will still be writing, and wanting to publish their books. People will not be spending much money, because they won't be earning it.' #IWSG Click To Tweet
What do I personally want to see in publishing in 2030? Low carbon everything, bans on carbon emissions, support for everybody who needs it, white supremacists in straightjackets, and a level playing field for the rest of us. Oh, sorry, publishing, yeah. How about books not relying on how well you market yourself? Don’t know how that would work.
Once upon a time I wanted to live till 2060. Now I don’t think I’ll make it to 2030. Especially with the way we dump people in care homes.
Sorry. Not what you wanted to hear.
Go and read somebody more upbeat. Hopefully our hosts for the day will help:
Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!
10 thoughts on “#IWSG | And it’s July 2020. What about July 2030?”
Love your post! Thanks for the reading recommendations 🙂
Ronel visiting for IWSG day A Decade of Writing
An excellent, if rather gloomy, rant! I wish I could feel you are wildly exaggerating, but I worry like hell about the world my boys are entering.
Oh, and marketing that isn’t about selling ourselves? I’m totally with you!
I’ve been thinking about this as well. Luckily I have a daughter who likes to write and I will cede her my book rights etc.
Nothing wrong with being brutally honest–even if it isn’t the most upbeat. Sometimes we have to hear the things we don’t want to hear and have a good hard look at ourselves.
I would love to see independent book retailers champion ebooks!
If anything, the last few months have taught me to not make too many predictions, and a lot can happen and change in the next ten years.
That’d be awesome if independent book sellers take on ebooks! I’ve been amazed by how many of our local businesses found creative ways to do business during the lock down. Our local bookstores took orders by email and dropped off my books at my front door. I hope one thing that comes out of all this is we support local more. I don’t want Amazon to be the only place you can buy books.
I still have hope for the future–and will continue to just do the next thing, especially when it comes to writing.
Hey we’re all struggling with where the world is going right now. You’re not alone. I can’t imagine what the world will look like 10 years from now. I’ve got small children and I half-expect them to be living in tents in a desert wasteland by the time they’re my age. If there’s anything left alive at all.
It comes and goes, this feeling, I think. But when all’s said and done, we live the life we’re in, and our parent’s lives seem weird. So your kids will be okay.
At least with writing we can escape for a bit.
Now, there’s a thought: will dystopia go out of fashion?
We definitely need more indie bookstores championing books and authors!
I just started reading this book called How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. The author raises some good points about focusing on policy and not on people. Attacking people and even the particular system isn’t as helpful as looking at the *reasons* why we do and support the things we do and support. It has me thinking about America’s history of individualistic self-sufficiency and all the ways it’s gone awry, in part due to our willful blindness to the interconnectedness of all people including the ones we not-so-secretly plunder and steal from to *stay* “self-sufficient.” I think you might like it. Definitely a challenging read for me. And don’t worry about negative thoughts. It would worry me if you *weren’t* angry given all that’s happening.
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