unknown and hating it
Here’s another thing that is difficult about being an unknown writer. You can’t write yourself into becoming known. You follow? In most occupations you can just work harder and results will follow but writing more doesn’t help. All you’ve done is write more material that nobody is reading. If I changed the length of my blogs to 2 or even 3 pages then every day I’d be providing an additional 300% of effort to nobody. It won’t change the fact that nobody knows who a writer is if they don’t know who you are.
Now some could argue that working harder that might entail spending more time learning how to write, correcting punctuation and avoiding sentences like ” It won’t change the fact that nobody knows who a writer is if they don’t know who you are” but I don’t put much stock in that. The trick appears to be to become famous in a completely unrelated field and then sit down and pen something. You see books rocketing up the best sellers list from crooked politicians, cop killers, disgraced athletes and entertainers fresh out of rehab all the time. They write a book and the reading public can’t seem to bet enough. Books that they didn’t even write, just had written for them but still people line up to get a copy.
What’s worse is the people you have to interact with when you are unknown. Other unknown writers.
We’re this little community of under-talented people who try and convince ourselves that exchanging tips and contacts is going to actually help. The saddest part is when you are guilted into actually reading something from them is it becomes painfully obvious why they are unknown. They suck. Their stories suck. And then you have to encourage them. Why I don’t know. You really should encourage them not to quit their day job at the Walmart.
Then you start to think to yourself “do I suck that bad? Is that why I’m unknown?” Well, at least that’s what a reasonable person would think after associating with so many bad writers but for reasons I can’t explain I seem immune to that logic. I remain convinced that my writing is brilliant and it is the masses who remain ignorant. The whole pearls before swine defense.
This in turn annoys agents and publishers who expect to see a writer change and grow and evolve when their first few efforts don’t find an audience. I’ve had an uneasy relationship so far with these types. I guess it starts with the way they want you to interact with them. It all starts with a submission letter. Are they kidding me? They right off the bat want to start with a letter of submission. They want me to submit to them. Writing is all about words, about meaning. You think it’s a coincidence that they want a letter of submission?! Try as I might I can’t seem to get the “fuck you very much” tone out of my letters seeking a book deal or agent. Note at no point will I say submission.
If I have to admit anything perhaps I will grant you that releasing books without having an editor look them over might have been a mistake. At the time I really believed that misspelled words and bad grammar would add to the edgy experience but it does seem to annoy the hell out of the very few readers that have had the misfortune of stumbling across one of my books. Nobody is more annoyed than editors. I guess I’m trying to write them out of an occupation so perhaps I should be more understanding. You can tell the book critics that are also editors, they review my books using terms like ‘hilarious’ and then give me only 2 stars.
For anyone with so much time on their hands that they visit this website with any regularity you’ll notice I post a story from Merciful Flush, then a story from Results May Vary and then a story from the upcoming book that I’m trying to get put out in the winter. The book was going to be called Dizzying Depths but I think I’ve decided to change it to Think Weirder. Still time to decide. This posting formula of mine is occasionally altered by my desire to just throw up something like this where I keep you updated on my breathtaking lack of success as an author. While some writers might try and pretend that they are ok with obscurity I’ve always strived for complete honesty so this update is basically to say it blows and I hate it.
I need some encouragement. Spring for a book you cheap bastard. Tell your friends about this site. Get off your dead ass and buy one of my Nook covers or mugs.
Hmmm. I like that. I think I’ll use that “Spring for a book you cheap bastard” as my marketing pitch.
Signing off again from nowheresville.