Over the past couple of years since officially declaring myself as an “aspiring writer” I have met and come into contact with a wealth of similarly minded people. I’ve learned a lot from these other writers and like to think my work has improved as a result.
However I’ve also recently become aware that this community is split into two worlds – the Offline and the Online. There is plenty in common between these two groups but some distinct differentiators as well:
The Online: This is you dear reader, the people read and write blogs about writing; Tweeters; the community on Shortbread Stories. In this world the Kindle is king (almost), the future is almost definitely digital and self-publishing is a realistic way forward for many. Everyone knows what steampunk is.
The Offline: My writer’s group, other authors that have met, readers of the Writers’ & Artist’ Yearbook. Here the Kindle is still an uncertain commodity, possibly even a passing fad. Self-publishing is a rare notion. Steampunk did you say? What on earth is steampunk?
Now this might sound like a criticism of the Offline – it’s not. I love the Offline and they have plenty of advantages over the Online (like you can look them in the eye) but sometimes they do sound a little behind the times, for example (in the UK) most agents and publishers still expect submissions to be printed out of paper and posted to them. That seems crazy to me.
So why the divide? Why the differences? I can only guess really but I reckon it’s down to two things:
1) America – The Kindle launched in the States a good year ahead of the UK so the whole self-publishing/eReader revolution is already much further along there. And since the majority of English-speaking people online are American or influenced by Americans then that would explain the different attitude to technology.
2) Geeks – Most people that have started a blog and Twitter account are fairly tech-savvy and with tech-savviness comes geekiness hence a much wider-spanning knowledge and appreciation of genres.
So what do the rest of you think? Are you aware of different subgroups within your writing communities and why that would be?
Title image courtesy nasablueshift