I got home from a three-day work excursion to Wyoming twelve hours ago. I had one mission on my mind: get something published.
To most, this probably sounds like a daunting task. Write something. Send out fifty manuscripts. Get fifty rejections. Blah, blah, blah. True, but that's the old way.
Enter the concepts of print on demand and vanity press. They've been around for quite some while, with the likes of Twain, Sinclair, and Thoreau all using them to their advantage. But in the age of The Series of Tubes, printing your own crap is really, really easy.
How easy? Underwear Gnomes could do it:
1) Write something;
2) Take five minutes to upload it;
Ease aside, what the hell did I exactly intend to publish tonight, considering HOS is in my brain tornado and my young adult novel is about 30,000 words from seeing the light of day ( I DID hit 10,000 words Monday night, thankyouverymuch)?
I really don't want to say the word, but I believe you'll forgive me: poems.
I know, I know, I KNOW: everyone and their father is a poet (my daddy is: American Poetry Anthology, 1984, ISBN 0-88147-008-2. Poem is called Brecken. Go fig...) . So where am I hiding the high and mighty horse that I rode in on?
No where, actually. I know I have written a lot of crap. I figure for every quasi-good poem I wrote, ten more vile examples of juvenilia spilled from my pen. But about 50% of those quazi-good poems were actually great poems. I decided I was going to publish those.
So what the hell happened in the last twelve hours? Why have I not given you an ISBN of my own? Because I got scared. I got so scared, in fact, that I started playing a little game I made up called How Many Things Can I Do To Keep Me From Doing The One Thing I Need To Do? It's a very familiar game; I've played it for thirty years.
The premise of the evening was easy enough:
1) Go to my office and find the notebooks containing the poems I wanted published;
2) Take five minutes to upload them;
Let me give you a little run down on what I did instead...
- Browsed Wordclay.com, Lulu.com, and Createspace.com for the best DIY publishing bang for my buck,
- Read a ton of really bad self-written blurbs for really bad books sold through said sites,
- Digested another chapter in Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones" (no, I will not be seeing the movie; Peter Jackson be damned!),
- Drank a few beers,
- Read 100% of the archives at Wedinator.com,
- Made fun of the dogs,
- Cross referenced Wordclay and Lulu authors with Amazon,
- Thought about sleeping.
But what the hell was I afraid of? This question is easier to answer then a moon/elephant quandary. Since I seem so fond of lists tonight, here's another, in no particular order:
- Sharing some of my misery from years ago,
- Being made fun of for said misery,
- Having to actually relive all that misery,
- Trying to pimp my for-profit book based on that misery.
I got stuck. I got scared. I did nothing.
But you know what? I can't live in this constant state of apathy, fear, laziness, boredom. I am a goddamn writer. Writers write. And good writers publish their work. My BF constantly reminds me how amazing it would be to say, "I'm a published author" when people ask me what my job is.
So here is my promise to you, dear reader: before the close of 5 Dec. 2009, I will have published my poetry book, be it lame or not. If you want to buy it, I'll tell you where. Hurdle One is looming, and I swear I'm gonna jump.
I will leave you Dune freaks and you curiositors with the full Bene Gesserit litany:
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain."
Good day, faithful readers.