Four ways of being with the internet
Yes, yes, yes, yes. Everything you've written here is why I recently turned to write fiction. I became SO exhausted (and honestly pretty disgusted) by the writer I was in Stages 1-3, I just...couldn't....takeitanymore. Season 3 helped me see this more clearly. With that said, maybe, just maybe there will be a Foster Fiction season in the future. I'm so there.
I got a really interesting visual as I read through this piece, and it cycles back within itself...
First: It's interesting that you use Nicholas and his body as an example ...
Second: AI has a rule too - it's "garbage in, garbage out"
Third: So, with the mukbanger example, and AI, this piece lands as a meta-example of the human body, with APIs and engineers functioning as cells and organs and other systems doing anything to keep the system alive which is generally the body's first priority when it gets into extremes... We humans will manually do this with RXs to resolve here and there, and these are bandaids...
The web, as a body itself and the creators, as you acknowledge, must do the inner work and intentional approach. I am left wondering if and when the electricity is low and the coal's burned away things might be different ... that there's more intentionality because we'll have to be constrained.
When you write to be read, what are the financial implications of that? If you are not read, are you able to feel satisfied as a writer? I saw a lot of my non-writing working life in the stages you have observed, as well as how I orient myself as a writer seeking to professionalize her work. One of the reasons I'm turning toward writing is because I want to affirm, refine, and assert my voice.
I've come to the conclusion that if I want to write consistently and cultivate readership, that I also have to think about monetization - both for personal sustainability and because in this world, money talks. Yet, simultaneously, I also have to find a way to be bold and write first for myself and the relationship I seek to cultivate with readers.
It is a koan to seek practice and relationality through that practice in a transactional, Capitalist world. I'm still just trying to set it all up so I have unpressured time to practice the way I want and to create the distribution channels and readership I want.
As I wrote in a recent, as yet, unpublished blog post, about another kind of no-win scenario, "What if changing the game just wasn’t an option? Would it have been enough to change how you see the game, the rules, or the outcome? At least, for now, for you, it has to be."