So your writing is flowing too fast. The spark of inspiration has set your mind ablaze and your fingers hurt from typing. Stephen King says you should write 3,000 words a day and you’re lapping him: 6,000 words a day, 9,000 words a day. You’re so prolific your beta readers feel like you’re swamping them with homework and your inbox is teeming with acceptance letters. Even your coffee table is overflowing with magazines and collections you’ve been featured in. Everybody is buying what you’re selling. Hollywood has optioned so many of your stories that all your liquid assets are tied up in forthcoming films.
Your writer’s workshop has added nights to discuss your work. You to try pump the breaks, to give the other writers around you a chance to catch up, but you finish stories in line at Chipotle. You’re frequently asked; “Are you typing right now?” while you’re appearing on podcasts.
Worse still you’re burdened with an excess of self-satisfaction. People often tell you that you need to glower more. They say you’re one of those writers who is just too damn chipper. The sheer glee you get from waking up every morning is becoming a problem.
Everyone thinks they have a million-dollar novel in them, something they’ll option to the premium cable companies once they get it started, but you’ve transcended those theoretical thinkers and become a doer. You’ve put in your time at the coffee shop, gritted your teeth through bad dub-step, and put your magnum opus on paper. Now you’re thinking of shopping it around.
The problem is you’re just now reading articles that tell you you’ve done it all backwards. You put the cart before the horse. You were supposed to build a website first, develop a strong social media presence, and then get your novel published. You spent all your time honing your writing skills when you should’ve been practicing selling, so saith the social media gurus you’ve found and they speak with authority.
Build Thy Brand
These social media gurus, these masters of marketing, these grand clerics of the click-through insist writers build a brand before they do anything. A brand is an online presence that represents your unique perspective, beliefs, and voice, and by unique, of course, they mean nothing so emotionally vulnerable that someone might find it depressing, nothing so quirky that people without a sense of humor won’t get it, nothing so seedy it couldn’t be read in classroom, nothing with references your grand parents won’t catch, and nothing remotely political. Continue reading How to Write Blog Spam→
The room is dark. The air is thick with a musky scent. The aroma is intoxicating. Not like a fine wine is intoxicating, like chloroform is intoxicating. The fragrance is familiar, but it’s the purest version I’ve ever smelt. It starts sweet, rises to a head, and finishes spicy.
I’d swear I was lying in a fresh meadow, if it wasn’t for the chair rocking beneath me, or the door creaking open on its rusty hinge.
My eyes water through the lids. It’s a struggle to keep them squeezed shut. The odor fills me with each breath. My mind slips. I’m dizzy with pungent petals. The smell clogs my nostrils with sugar, fills my mouth with cinnamon, and pours pepper down my throat.
I’d swear I was buried in a bed of roses, if it wasn’t for the twist ties digging into my wrists, and the footfalls echoing around me.
I wanted to be a musician in a past life. The problem was that my lyrics were too personal, and I couldn’t be bothered with casting myself in a positive light. I subscribed to John Lennon’s philosophy of songwriting, “Gimme some truth.” My favorite song writers always gave me a jolt, like they pulled the words right out of my head. Their lyrics were honest and self-deprecating. They turned the thing that made me feel isolated into a universal experience. Their humiliation numbed my own. Continue reading Pigs Will Fly (on writing song lyrics)→