Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Brave Not-so-New World

All right everyone. Enough of this crap. Dust your asses off, because I'm shifting gears. No more flailing around bemoaning my fate at the hands of a cruel and unfeeling universe. Time to get up, get in there, and get my hands dirty. What am I talking about, you ask? The same thing I talk about all the damn time on this blog, Pinky. Getting Published.

And then taking over the world.

So first things first: a little temporal refreshment. I've been mum about my progress within the boggy moor of getting published, in large part because I have made no progress. But! Despair not, all those who stumble blindly onto my page by hitting the 'Next Blog' button too many times. I now have the power within my grasp and I am drunk on possibilities. To whit, I am now in possession of one of the most comprehensive guides to getting your aimless drivel polished up and worth anyone's notice. The Novel and Short Story Writer's Market 2014.

GAZE UPON ITS GLORY


 It is gorgeous and intimidating and my holy grail, at this point. If you are also trundling along this murky path with me, I highly suggest this as a good beginning point. I made a brief study of several different version of the Writer's Market, including the actual Writer's Market (yes there are multiple focuses and specialties, in various sized tomes, all of them $30 a pop. I almost had a fit in my local bookstore). While all of them have useful information and very exhaustive lists of magazines, book publishers, and literary agents, some are slightly more novice-friendly. I have so far found great advice and the starts of many a brain-storming session all alone in my cubicle at work about what direction I want to take my book and how I might go about achieving the best results for that end. I seriously recommend it. In fact, I would be so bold as to say you need this book. Go buy it now. Right this instant. But you're not a writer, you protest? You will be in about ten or fifteen years. Everyone wants to write a book once, might as well start preparing now.

The second thing is more embarrassing to admit to, but it was pretty monumental for me anyway. I finally entered the modern age and got myself a smartphone. For the record, no I am not 58 years old. I'm actually 24, if you must know, but I have an old soul and am therefore terrified of bright shiny things I don't understand and I also have no money. But the boon of such a thing, which I imagine is painfully obvious to everyone but me until five days ago, is that I can now keep up with my online presence more so than before. Let me revise that: I can now have an online presence more so than before. And that will be super useful, nay essential, in my attempts to get published and then actually succeed at it. There a bunch of grown-up terms I learned in my Writer's Market, one of which was "building an author platform." The difficulty, other than logging the sheer man hours required to make this profitable, is a complete 180 of priorities for me. Facebook has never been all that important in my life. I'm rarely on it. I don't get Twitter. I only heard of LinkedIn, like, 72 hours ago. It's like I used up all the fucks I gave for online communities during my LiveJournal days and ever since then I was like "meh." So yeah. Stuff I've thought as a non-priority now has to be at the top of my list, and not only do I have to pay attention to all this stuff, but I need to interact with it and find a way to really care about it. That's not to say that the plight of other writers like myself isn't important to me, but I have spent much of my writerly life being shut up in a microcosm of friends and people who share genetics with me. I have a creeping paranoia that if I even breathe a word about my book, someone else will slap their name on it and make millions before I can say COPYRIGHT, BITCH, DROP IT BEFORE I SHANK YOU.

My feelings are pretty strong on this point. Because let's be realistic here, people. The publishing world is not a high-octane, over-caffeinated race to the finish line. It more resembles warfare, in two particular ways: it is a long game of hurry-up-and-wait, and there will be an astronomical amount of bodies to dump in your local landfill by the end of it. But it doesn't have to be that way, is what I am finding out. I've seen publishing and writing careers dramatized in movies and such, and for any intrepid break-out author it's just this vicious backstabbing world of cut throats and assholes out to screw you any way possible and a few ways that defy all rules of physics, just because they can. I am trying to embrace a different reality. It's hard. I have trust issues, largely unfounded to be honest. But I guard my stories snarlingly like a dragon crouched over its gilded hoard and not only will that eventually prove counterproductive, it's murder on the back. Time to grow a trust bone. Also, start giving a crap about tweets.

It'll be an uphill struggle. But worth it at the top, where it looks like it might not be lonely, after all.

Welcome to my blog, the world. I'm going public now.