There seem to be all these lists of things that MUST BE DONE in order to BUILD PLATFORM and BECOME ATTRACTIVE TO AGENTS
I choose to believe that the best thing is to write a good fucking story, and write it well. The good news is that, occasionally, a sane voice calls out from the publishing ether and says exactly the same fucking thing.
If I write the story I wanted to write, if it’s as good as I can make it, then that’s success. Any other definition has to be considered suspect. Selling books is mostly a crapshoot anyway. It’s bingo, at least if you’re talking about Rowling-like sales. We need to get over it and live in the real world.
Don't get me wrong - I’ll be happier than a pig in shit if I can pay bills off of royalties one day. That’s the dream, something I hope for but is largely beyond my control. In the mean time, I’ll be only`as happy as a pig in shit just to write the stories, even if the only people that read them are the ones that I talk to directly or e-mail regularly.
Seems to me that following a whole bunch of other people’s lists and ideas on how to succeed at being original is more than slightly oxymoronic. Seems to me that originality is found off the beaten path.
The life inversion was/is about not keeping score in the standard ways anyway. It was/is supposed to be the opposite of that. The inversion is about letting go of all of those social measurements, all that cultural bullshit, and just being, just loving the process, just living the adventure, just writing and telling the story as honestly as I can.
I was listening to
CBC radio the other day and Jion Gomeshi asked Chris Murphy of the Sloans what he thought of the great reviews their latest disc was getting, perhaps the best in their twenty-year career. Murphy said, “We don’t pay attention. If we did, we’d have to believe the bad ones too.”
So I’ll keep score in other ways, like I said a couple weeks ago: by how many days I spend in flip flops instead of suits and ties; by how often I can write something that breaks through my own sense of cool; by how honest and vulnerable I can be in front of the keyboard; by how uncomfortable I can be hitting “publish”; by how “wrong” an action is according to the lists and rule books.
That’s what being an artist is supposed to be about, right? Rebellion? Counter-culture? Targeted subversive behavior? Punk rock and revolution? Isn’t it? Isn't it?