Publish And Perish
When I started this blog, then called Dirtyfreaks, in early 2001 my goal was to figure out how I could make money off of it. Secretly, I wanted to start a porn site I think. And maybe even prostitute my friend’s longtime girlfriend. But, let’s not mention that.
As a side project, in addition to porn, I was thinking maybe it would help my writing career if I had a place where I could spew my insane “notes from the margins,” as I called them. The act of writing, and honing that writing so normal human being could actually parse what I was trying to say, is an important exercise. I always think of it like a muscle. If you don’t write, and don’t read, and just sit around watching Stargate: SG1 on constant repeat you’re never going to succeed.
So, having just finished a Stargate SG1 marathon, I’d like to talk a little bit about my writing journey. The book I did eventually write, published in 2017, wasn’t anything like what I thought I would write in 2001. I wanted to write sci-fi or fantasy, and I have a few dozen unfinished manuscripts lying around. As I grew older, though, and faced down the demons of life and reality, I ended up publishing a tell-all memoir about my enormously criminal family, child abuse, and ice cream.
The book had a lot of growing pains. It hit the shelves on May 1st, 2017 and, on May 5th, 2017, my publisher decided to drop it. They did this because they were afraid of the backlash. Despite my family’s criminality, they are beloved by many people. It’s the ice cream that did it. My family is worshiped on a level that is, frankly, disturbing.
In a sense, my publisher was correct. I saved the book and self-published it in June of 2017 and then tried to do the publicity that my publisher had avoided — pitching to the local newspaper, etc. The backlash was extraordinary. I was threatened, bullied… At readings, people would shout out insults. Once, I was attacked in the parking lot, thrown against a car, and the person screamed in my face: “This is our story! Not yours! How dare you!” Lifetime family friends ended their friendships and never spoke to me again. It was a thing, and it still is. I do think, sometimes, that publishing the memoir was a terrible mistake. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut and embraced the fucking culture of silence, eh?
To cleanse my palate, I repackaged and published The Most Holy Boble. So, technically, that’s my second book. I have to say that publishing The Boble was a thrill and I had about 173 times the fun putting it together and getting it out there. It reminded me that that’s what I wanted to be doing.
The Boble came out in 2019 and, according to Stephen King, I should have had a second book out in 2020. But 2020 was the apocalypse so I can let it slide. I spent that whole year focused on keeping my own company (and myself) alive. Now that we’re into 2021, though, I’m thinking that I’d better get my ass in gear. Book three (or was The Boble really just Book 1.5?) needs to land sometime in 2022.
So I’ve been trying to balance out my long, lonely days. Try and keep the company and myself alive till lunchtime, then unplug and work on my personal writing till happy hour.
As part of this project I figured, hey, why not revive the Great Society blog? Because this blog is totally woke and fits perfectly into the 2020s American sensibility….
What? What are you looking at? Is there something on my forehead?
Getting back in touch with the “you must keep writing if you want to write” idea, though, is important. And it’s either this or endless comical Facebook posts…and I’m on my second warning there for questionable content, so I’d better get this shit flowing again before social media bans me.
I had this silly dream of forming a loyal little street team and going full-on self-pubbed yahoo. Like those fucking idiots who publish a giant fantasy book every month and get hundreds of reviews and somehow make a buttload of money. A “buttload” is 384 gallons, by the way. Which is a lot of money.
There was this guy who was part of the old Greatsociety forums back in the day. He was crazy, but, hey, 10 years had passed since he was freaking out on the forums and I figured we’re all grown up now, tra-la-la. I brought him on to help whip the Boble into shape editorially, and then gave him an editorial gig for the real books I was publishing. He got paid and then lost his shit because he thought the cover designer made more than he did.
First of all, he made 50% more than the cover designer. Second….welcome to publishing, you fucking idiot. Where cover designers start at $1000 to download clip art and be prima donnas and editors make shit. Which is why there are lots of cover designers and no editors anymore.
He tried to sue me for “lost wages” and it was a sad, strange little episode at the end of 2020 and yet another fucking lesson of the old rule: People are crazy. And they don’t get uncrazy. If they’re crazy they’re always crazy.
You’d think I’d have fucking learned that by now. But I have this great failing: I want to help people and be nice. I know that’s not the general takeaway you might get from this blog but I really do want everyone to just get along. This life is so hard and painful as it is, the last thing we should do is try to make it harder. If I can be a friend, I will be a friend.
I should probably stop doing that. Fuck being a friend. I should just go with that armed compound in New Mexico idea and shoot at anyone who comes up the driveway.
So, anyway… My next book. I’m working on it. And I’ll hire a non-editor friend to look at it. Now I have to start that Stargate: Atlantis marathon. Bye.