We Are All Generation N

Last night I was sitting trying to watch some TV but was getting distracted by my daughter’s antics in my peripheral vision. She was holding up her mobile phone, contorting her face and body to meet the desired pose and sending snapchats. But she was doing it and re-doing and re-doing it until she got one that achieved the desired effect.

In exasperation I labelled her as Generation N (Narcissus) to which she shrugged her shoulders and carried on regardless.

On reflection I was perhaps a little unfair. Admittedly, she is of the Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat/etc (pick your preferred vanity platform) Generation where everything must be examined and manipulated for the perfect image before it is all laid bare. Unless you happen to be drunk or angry in which case everything is laid bare regardless of the consequences.

But aren’t we all? And haven’t writers always been?

“I write for pleasure”

“I’m an artist”

Oh really, I thought you just wanted fame and immortality?

Walk of Fame Category Theater

We all do, regardless of pretence otherwise. So writers and other artists have always been of Generation N but modern writers have so much more narcissism at their fingertips – e-publishing, social media, blogging, youtube etc.

There’s nothing wrong with a little self-publicity, in fact, the market demands it, but maybe, just maybe, we should be letting our work speak for itself rather than knocking on every single door and insisting complete strangers buy into it.