Monday, January 10, 2011

So You Want To Be A Writer - Part Deux

Reading Bryan's last post reminds me of just how long I've been dumping time and energy into this whole writing gig. It’s been a long ride. I ought to be wearing a leather mask and a ball gag, because as far as masochistic professions go, being a career writer probably only lags behind porcupine artificial insemination, or being the programming director for Lifetime TV. All those lost nights with my ass planted in a chair, the piles of monotonously vague rejection letters, the deteriorating spinal column, and the empty bottles of beer: It's been worth something hasn't it? I mean, we’ve finally gotten some editorial attention, but is it too late? Has the publishing ship already swirled too far down the toilet? Is print dead?

A perusal of the local bookstand says no. You can still have a highly lucrative career in authorship if: A) You got into the biz at least a decade ago and have henceforth been moderately successful, or, B) If you have at least one reality TV show to your professional credit and are wisely cashing in on the fleeting novelty of your amusing dumbfuckery. At least people are reading, right? Right?

Going back to the topic of Bryan’s post, who wouldn't think that modern novel writing is an Easy-Bake cakewalk when such accomplished and, uh...talented celebrities as Tyra Banks and Glenn Beck can do it? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they worked their asses off to gain every single follower in their respective zombie hordes, but are they writers? Unfortunately, the bean counters at Random House and Simon and Schuster seem to think so. From an aging supermodel with the brazen brainpower of a narcissistic mattress stain, comes the next great work of American literature, Modelland (epic title, no?), which got picked up for a three-book deal. What’s next? Gangstaville  by Kanye West?

It's clear to me now that I may have been going about this all wrong. Instead of spending countless hours shut away in a closet, writing bad novel after bad novel and honing my craft, I should have been out spinning gimmicks and bullshitting my way into alchemizing my name into a whoreable shiny logo. Then I might’ve just slapped my McHancock on the cover and not had to bother with the pesky nuances of craft or grammar like the rest of those literary goobers. I could just pay a ghostwriter (Or three, Mr. Beck) to wipe my ass, photocopy the results, ship them to the nearest starving publishing house, and bask in the glory of my own proxy genius. But, I guess you can't fault the publishers like Random for printing lucrative junk. The written word is indeed dying, and even the biggest houses are struggling to stay afloat, even if that means doing so by clutching turds.

So, what's the point of doing it? Why bother waiting for the breakthrough? Why fight all the way to actually selling a book, only to find out that the real labor (promotional self-pimping) has just begun? Aside from being able to publicly satirize everything in sight and hopefully do it in an entertaining way…I guess the only real reason is because I don’t have a choice. I makes the words, or else I goes crazy.

-brandon


Music: The Dresden Dolls
Shower: A race against the clock (now that I'm home again).
Beer: Nein. Empty refrigerator.



And...because her name should never be completely forgotten when it comes to the subject of shitty novels.

33 comments:

  1. Well my friend, unfortunatly publishing and campaigning go hand in hand.. So press your jeans, floss your teeth and get ready.. K?

    Yes, good riddance to WC..ugh.. and to answer your question, "Looks in Sepia.."-yes, photos..

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  2. I agree with you

    Especially on the toilet :)

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  3. The only things worse than books about celebrities are books by celebrities.

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  4. Great words here, very interesting

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  5. It all comes down to money. Why try to sell something that is different, original and maybe even better when you could definitely sell the same old trash again and again?

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  6. just write a twilight knockoff, reap the rewards for a lifetime. Original works wont sell. Jump on a bandwagon to profit.

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  7. im reading bro, you gotta do what you love, if what you love is making you miserable because there isnt enough money you have to either lower your living standard to within your current income or persue a differnt career, it seems hopeless to start over again but if it make your remaining days on this earth meaninful and fufilling then i believe its worht it, dont give up on what you believe in, honest :)

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  8. You gotta write about what you like! It's not about the money :)

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  9. Yeah well come on nitefalls. You write about what you know or what you like for money!
    Its always about money

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  10. i wrote on my arm once, and this makes me a novelist. off to blog about it!

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  11. Trust me when I say that neither of us are in it for the money. Both of us hold advanced degrees (BA in Information System Security, and BA in Psychology) and neither of us have any interest in using them because we'd rather be writers. So Brandon works construction, and I do odd jobs to survive, because it gives us more time to write. I don't care if I'm ever rich, but if I can write and be comfortable--that's success, baby. They don't call us starving artists for nothin'.

    -Bryan

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  12. True the written word is dying. Douglas Coupland phrased the state quite well in 'Generation A'.
    The most unattractive thing in a woman is when she say's she's a reader and listing off the books she recently read are either: Twilight, Harry Potter, or Confessions of a Shopaholic. Ugh.

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  13. I think the problem is that most people aren't literate enough to read for pleasure and therefore can't enjoy a good book.

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  14. people are dumb and like crap like that

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  15. Used to love reading but now I don't for some reason, got think upon that

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  16. There are more rotten novels published than good / amusing / interesting / thought provoking ones. Art: prostitution is the only route to success. Ask any musician. Talent is around about number one million on the list of things you need to succeed.

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  17. Yup. Stephenie Meyer is definitely on my list of top hated people. Since she's one of the worst writers of all time, but still richer than I'll ever be times fifty million.

    Bucket of hate-o-rade for her.

    And love the name of your blog! Although mine would be, a vodkaseltzer for the shower. Cheers!

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  18. Twilight can do S a D, great post

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  19. Interesting stuff, great read, look forward to the next!

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  20. I always thought blogging is pretty much the exact opposite of what a "real" writer does for a living. So uh, seeing someone ranting about "real" writing in here is kind of funny to me and makes you an elitist douche-fag in my book.
    But apart from that most of your stuffs are interesting reads and I'm following you now.

    greets

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  21. Uh... thanks?

    So, Wesh, what does a "real" writer do for a living?

    I write day in and day out. I have 3 novels under my belt, and 2 of them are in the hands of my literary agent. In between that, I blog about my writing experiences/life experiences because, I don't know, it's fun? I enjoy doing it, and I enjoy all the people I've met on here? Check that, all of the above.

    Long story short, no elitism and no douche-faggery here.

    Thanks to all who have followed.

    -Bryan

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  22. There's nothing better than doing what you love, even if you make what's considered a poverty level income. Thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me your 2 cents :D Following ya!

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  23. Writing can be a very stressful process when one does it for a living.
    It can be very therapeutic though.

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  24. man so true. but dont give up. i think both of you guys are awesome writers and would definitely love to check your books. keep on

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  25. Additionally, the term "douche-fag" isn't catching. It, like a non-consensual prison sentence, never really left the confines of the frathouse basement.

    -brandon

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  26. ouch, that one hurt. I was quite proud of myself when I made it up.

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  27. does it say somethinga about me when i find it amusing that dumbfuckery is becoming a continuous joke in this blog?
    loving the steph meyer gag

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