THE WORD ON THE .NET

Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Writers: Will we all be out of a job by 2037?

It’s the New Year folks, when we all start to think about our futures… While skiving off taking a break from writing my current short story I came across these two videos on Youtube. They got me thinking about mine, but what do you think about yours?

If you don’t have time to watch – novelist Philip Roth states he feels that written fiction, in all its forms including electronic ones like the Kindle et. al. will be replaced by other media in less than twenty five years. The only readers we will have left will be a minority, like those who listen to music on vinyl now…

Life would be no fun if everyone agreed. So, here espousing the opinion that the written word and the telling of stories are essential elements of what it means to be human, is writer Paul Auster. If he is correct then we may actually have a readership larger than just our mums and our dog in the years to come…

Both of these men are successful authors, so you would assume they know what they were talking about – except one of them must be wrong. So which is it? Are you looking forward to the new digital age with hope, and £€$ signs in your eyes? Or, are you you currently perusing the job ads wondering whether you want to work as a cleaner with the flexible hours, or re-train as an accountant? Do you see an eastern retreat to a mountain hermitage, or perhaps a nunnery/monastery? Is your only creative option to write soul destroying derivative scripts for soap operas on television? What does your future hold? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below:


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6 Comments

  1. What ever the future holds, writers will have to adapt if they want to survive, just like any other species. Survival of the fittest, and the march of progress, cuts a swath across all jobs. The Electronic Revolution hasn’t killed off the novelist yet. And I seriously hope to be retired by 2037, but I guess we’ll see about that, too.

    • Hopefully you’ll sell a couple of million copies, and you’ll be able to retire early. I will find out your address, and camp outside with my loin cloth and begging bowl calling down curses upon your house until I get my cut. ;-)
      (No one said jealousy was a pretty emotion).

  2. Not sure on ths to be honest, however my gut reaction is that I don’t think it will. I suspect that they probably also said the same when television came along, yet here we are over 80 years later still reading books.

    I suspect that as long as there is imagination and people who want to write there will be people who want to read.

  3. I think it’s all b.s.
    No one can truly predict what is going to happen but to suggest that we won’t read anymore? A little dramatic wouldn’t you say? You think schools are going to eliminate reading from the curriculum? You think we’re going to suddenly lose all interest in the written word?

    I don’t think so.
    Storytelling is a vital part of our daily existence…it might not take the form that we’re used to in the future but it will always be there…as written word…;-)

    • *Kneels* Oh Oracle, your certainty and infallibility are legend! The whole world, with all its legions, cannot comprehend the vastness of your wisdom. Your purity, moral fortitude, and incorruptibility make mortals and lesser deities tremble!

      Now, can you tell me who is going to win the 2.45 on Saturday, at Chepstow? I’ll cut you in for 7.5%… :-D

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