Something Nick Mamatas says in a post at his journal about vanity publishing and the Harlequin debacle in general resonated with me:
“What is great about writing is that an ordinary working-class person can do it without substantial investment. Other art forms such as painting, photography, music, etc. require sometimes significant outlay and purchasing paintings and instruments and such also requires a pocketful of money. With writing, you can do it on the cheap.”
For me, this also means that it’s one of the few art forms where I don’t have to collaborate. I hate collaborating, and writing was instantly the way I could create something without having to deal with anyone else’s input. Writing is one of the few artistic venues where it’s just you. You don’t need any special training (really, you don’t), you don’t need any special tools (like an instrument), and you don’t need anyone’s help. I think most writers start out as kids, just sitting in their rooms or something and realizing they can tell an entire story, with special effects and trick shots, with just a stub of pencil and a piece of paper. That’s fucking amazing, if you think about it.
I’ve tried collaborating, and sometimes it even works. My friend Jeof Vita and I co-wrote a comic book and it went really well; we then co-wrote a TV script that didn’t sell, and started to co-write a movie treatment before we sort of drifted away from the project. Despite our success – and the fact that we had fun working together – I doubt I’d ever collaborate again. I just prefer to have complete control over the work, to be honest. I don’t like having to weigh other people’s opinions.
Of course, this may explain why I spend most of my waking moments with cats instead of people.