Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A small wobble

As those with the dubious good fortune of knowing me in the meatspace will be aware: I'm writing a book. Specifically, I've signed a contract to write a short book for Zero [the fine people who produced Militant Modernism and One Dimensional Woman] which I need to hand in by June. It's going to be called Generation Square, and it's about all the people who were mean to me at school hipsters the deliberate cultural and social impoverishment of Generation Y. About the way in which our futures have been bartered, what the first stages of that bartering have done to us as a generation, and the way in which that process differs from the way every cohort of powerful adults sells out its children.

If I disappear off the radar for a few weeks in April, this will be why. Currently I'm totally paralysed and spending a great deal of time sitting in front of the ricomputer going fucksticks and arsebiscuits I'm in no way knowledgeable or mature enough to write a book. I'm a little bit panicky, too, because this book is Not Specifically About Gender. I'm not an academic, I'm still pretty young, and I routinely overuse the tricolon as a rhetorical device. But, in the slim chance that it does get published and doesn't suck, I'd very much like to count on the support of people who read this blog -for editing help, thrashing out ideas and maybe, eventually, buying a copy so that I can afford to keep my boyfriend in gin and ribbons.

There, I've now put it on the blog, so it's real and I have to write it. In other news, the Lib Dems are finally being sensible about the Digital Economy Farce. Between this, the Real Women campaign and the fact that our local Labour candidate is a tubthumping Eurosceptic, they'll probably have my vote.


  1. Try outlining it into roughly what parts you want it to be about, then think of them as a string of posts here that have a common theme. Then tie them together a bit more and you should have a book.
    Don't over-analyze the proses of writing a book too much. You already know how to write after all, so it should be a bit like that, except a bit longer.

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  2. Don't panic. Your intelligence and ideas will suffice to make it excellent. I look forward to buying a copy.

  3. This sounds interesting. I don't suppose you've ever read Frank Furedi's Where have all the intellectuals gone? It's a few years since I read it, but it outlines what sounds like a similar theme, although with a different focus.

    The only suggestion I have is to try your best to form habits. It's only by automatically going into the library after work every day, before I've even realised where I'm going, that I ever get anything significant written.

    Also, have fun!

  4. So you're voting for a party that will ban strikes and attack public sector pensions and against a solid trade unionist. You should now start calling yourself Penny Yellow (in more ways than one).

  5. Fantastic! Keep us updated. Zero seem cool, I really enjoyed Nina Power's book. You're an awesome writer and I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

  6. Hey Laurie, gimcrackgirl (twitter) / Kate L here. If you want a proof-reader, let me know. I copy edit and proof-read for a journal. Drop me an email if it might help. Skills sharing is important for feminists! Good luck with it, sounds like a great idea

  7. MY forthcoming novel WILL have a few swipes at people who were mean to me. Very much disguised, of course, but attacking the things they said. There's nothing wrong with a little payback ... tee hee.

  8. "the deliberate cultural and social impoverishment of Generation Y. About the way in which our futures have been bartered, what the first stages of that bartering have done to us as a generation, and the way in which that process differs from the way every cohort of powerful adults sells out its children."

    How do you know the growing up experiences of this 'generation' (a dubious concept anyway) is different to previous ones? Unless you're a Buddhist with a good memory for your past incarnations I suspect you've only got experience of one generation.

  9. So your Labour candidate is a Eurosceptic, you lucky person? Maybe you shouldn't have mentioned that as the Guardian believes only right-wing eurosceptics exist. Sure it's right-wing to want to maintain what democratic control we have of our affairs and to be against the rich White nations of Europe ganging up against the 3rd world, most grossly in the CAP but plenty of other ways as well.
    BTW, who is your Labour candidate? I'd like to offer my support, if I can't give my vote.

  10. I've been waiting for an announcement along these lines for some time. Very pleased to see it finally here, eagerly awaiting this book. I'd suggest not letting yourself get too bogged down in this e-nonsense for a while, but if you want to offer any of it up to us for response then I'd be happy to help out as best I can.

  11. BTW what is wrong with being a euroskeptic? THere are very good reasons why socialists and democrats in general should be deeply sceptical of the EU.

  12. Interesting that you're supporting the Lib Dems when, for the first time in living memory, they're going into the election as the most economically right-wing party (by some distance).

    I am a Eurosceptic but either way, I don't think voting for Lib Dem candidate against a Labour one is a great way to demonstrate support for pro-European policies. It only serves to increase the likelihood that an anti-European party, the Tories, will form the next government.

  13. Write from the heart and I'll buy a copy of your book. Otherwise not. I'm tired of people expressing or proselytising other people's ideas and feelings in their own words. Find your own voice and use it. Toodles.

  14. For heavens sake, try to write instead of agonising about it. If you don't think you can write a book, don't accept the challenge. Maturity is not linked in any way to age. Being in your mid twenties never stopped anyone from being great. Take this opportunity by the scruff of the neck and drive your words through the opportunity like a madman aiming for the state border with the fuzz on your tail.

    This is your opportunity to say what you've always needed to say to whom you ahve always wanted to say it : for that generation to realise that we are the ones they will turn to when they are old and infirm, and the generation they will expect to show mercy when they showed us none at all. We are the ones they saddled with student debt, with obscene house prices and crazed lending, with abusive pension practices, rising retirement ages, and a proliferation of shocking short-term contracts and other ways to enslave and financially sodomize forever so a new underclass is created. This is the generation that they are destroying in a "Race To The Bottom" so they can make a tiny fraction more money they do not require whilst robbing the future from their own children.

    So write and fail, or don't, and definitely fail. Be angry, be righteous, be right and be factual, but above all, BE.

  15. Bless you, of course you can do it. You write better than many, many people who have been published. If you doubt that, I suggest you download and watch Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, the part where he talks about Dan Brown. Not only will it make you realise that you're almost certainly a better writer than the megaselling conspiracy theorist, it's also very amusing, so will cheer you up. (In fact, I think that episode starts with a bit about Chris Facking Moyles, which will *definitely* cheer you up.

    Seriously, don't let the bastard self-doubt get you down. You're more than capable of saying all this, and it needs saying.

  16. 'It's going to be called Generation Square, and it's about (all the people who were mean to me at school) (hipsters) the deliberate cultural and social impoverishment of Generation Y'

    Dude - I love you.

    If I'm around on Google Talk and you need to thrash out ideas, feel free, though I'm not anywhere near as smart as you!

    'I'm in no way knowledgeable or mature enough to write a book'

    Factually inaccurate sentence!

    P.S.: I will buy this, provided 'tis reasonably priced.

  17. Penny

    Well, I'll certainly be interested in what you have to say, and I offer my best wishes for the project. As you know, I have offered my own perspective on generational betrayal, from the vantage point of being in my mid-forties, and I have some concerns about the whole direction you appear to be headed with your analysis, but I'm always happy to bounce ideas around.

  18. Possibly you should ruminate on why generation y is compleat in its selfeshness.All generations who sell their labour, are of the exployted.Good luck.


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