Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 261 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis






The Editor-in-Wife is one to remind me that networking is an enormous must these days. The contacts made, in whatever form they take, are de rigueur if you're going to have a wide reaching impact. But, and this could be just my hermit nature, there is such a thing as too much time spent attending, organizing, and schmoozing.
I am often regarded as a consummate socialite, nothing could be further from the truth. It takes enormous restraint, most of the time, not speak my mind. This results in a lot of, what I hope, passes for contemplative silences. That ruse isn't always successful, but there are some people I don't mind pissing off.  
I am blatant when it comes to guarding the time I have to sit at this keyboard and write. After all, the last time I checked, that was what a writer was supposed to do. However, today's publishing industry is pushing more and more of the promotional duties on the writers who are supposed to be turning out the grist for the mill. This, in terms of success, means that if you really want to get seen, you had better hire someone to navigate through all the hoops and hurdles you'll encounter. That, of course, is more money out of the writer's pocket and less out of the publisher's. This puts the writer in a position of having to ramp up production to meet this commitment. Which, if you're turning out formulaic serials, can be accommodated for a while. But even there the burn-out factor is increasing.
If you're going to do something, hopefully, original, it's going to mean that you need to put a higher value on your time and your product. If you don't, you will be faced with the reality that your time becomes the company's time and your product becomes a stale repetition of itself. So, is there some kind of alternative?
First, thank everyone who wants a piece of your life and remind them, if there is a good reason for you to be some place, say some promotional advantage or arranged encounter with someone who can be of real benefit, you'll be glad to attend. As a matter of fact, you'll make a point of it. If it's just to be "seen". Well, unless the being seen is focused on you and not on a room full of aspirants and hangers-on, thank them nicely and remind them you are in the middle of a difficult passage that really needs your full attention.
Can this actually work? Lets take Thomas Pynchon for example. The publishing world waits on a virtual recluse to release each book. Why? Because he crafts incredibly complex and unique work that cannot be done in the pressure-cooker of constant salesmanship. He has had to tell the world that he is willing to jeopardize some brand recognition for the space to create an individual brand unlike any other.
Do I expect to be a writer of Pynchon's stature? Well, maybe a little. What I really expect is to create that which is mine and unmistakable. That requires the time and space to accomplish the work. If it finds a market - terrific. If not, I'm still me, and that's really the whole point. That's success in my book!
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at dbaylis805@gmail.com . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

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