September 11, 2016
What If It Doesn't Work?
There's a scene in Home for the Holidays in which Holly Hunter describes her work at the museum:
I mean, I'm working, studying, struggling, year after year. You know how it is. Working, studying, struggling, year after year. And it's technical, I'm thinking. Yes. But today, it's like he knows me. And no time has gone by at all. Time doesn't matter. You don't want to eat. You don't want to sleep. You forget what day it is....
This is absolutely how I'd describe my world, except Holly Hunter reconstructs paintings and I deconstruct sentences and shuffle the words back together.
Lately, I've reached a new level of understanding. (Figment, for me, was different from anything I've ever done. Writing the novella felt like breaking through a wall. In my skull.) Of course, my timing is poor. Life as I knew it is gone (as a writer) but the words haven't stopped. In fact, they come so fast, I share a few of them with other people. (That is, I'm ghostwriting.)
If you've come to know my blog (since I began in 2006), you know things change. At one point, I hosted contests. Played bingo. Offered giveaways. Explored flash poetry. Ran writing marathons. Organized blog tours. Interviewed authors... But what I want to do is actually what I've always done. Write.
So I'm putting up my latest novella chapter by chapter on Patreon. For a dollar month, you can read this novella as it comes to fruition. Will I publish the book when it's complete? Maybe. I don't know. I haven't figured that out yet. Also for the $1 a month, you can join my book club. Last time, we read Chaucer. This time, I'm working on a few different ideas readers can consider.
For $3 a month, I will also send you a handmade postcard featuring photos I've taken while out and about and quotes from books I adore.
For $5, you'll have access to never-before-published short stories. One coming up is called Amuse Bouche. I love this story. How often will I post? I'm an insomniac, so you can do the math.
For $10, I will mail you fresh-off-the-press microfiction. On colored binder paper (this month). Soon, in multicolored envelopes (I ran out).
For $20, I will send you one of my matchbox stories. $20 seems a little steep, but shipping is close to $7. There's a chance, I will send you more than one, if I create a series. You never know with me.
What if you don't want to pay anything? No worries. I'm sliding my favorite posts from here up for free at Patreon. Will some of the posts from this blog disappear? Yes. Definitely. (In fact, I'm already down to 750 posts from close to 5,000.) Truly, I am striving for a balance. This space helped me in so many ways. But do I really want to carry my publishing woes around with me? If I were packing for a trip, would I take the items that remind me of someone who hurt me? No. So while I won't forget the journey that brought me here, and while I will probably lift some of my snarkier asides (because you can't take the snark out of the trollop), I'm going to jettison many of the rants.
Now the big question—what if it doesn't work?
Well, fuck. That's pretty much the question I've faced every step of my career. So I'm doing what I always do. I'm closing my eyes and jumping.
P.S. I woke up to a fabulous surprise in my inbox this weekend from a generous longtime reader. Thank you. Day made.