Materialism, attaching too much value to celebrity and social and physical appearance, causes us to suffer from depression and anxiety. Selfish capitalism, as propounded with such vigour by Margaret Thatcher and her successors has caused our society to become ill.
This, I believe, can be applied to the book industry too; the abolition of the net book agreement must have originally been inspired by greed. The result is that books are valued mainly as commodities and are sold like groceries; they are piled up like tomatoes and decorated with neon stickers advertising price not content. Books such as those 'written' by celebrities proliferate and are valued just because they sell in great number.
It is a bad time to be a writer; I have been told that again and again. Especially bad for writers like me who write for the love of the feeling that the words give us when we read them on the page. We write to convey a thought, an emotion or what we think is an important truth. It is an aspiration which is at odds with materialism and it is bound to make us ill.
So I intend to retreat for a while.