More wonderful advice from DFWCon was flung at me than I could possibly absorb. I’m still reeling at the impact. The result is, I’m standing over my manuscript, bloody scalpel in hand, doing a thorough divination of the entrails. No, it’s not a horror project, but the rewrite I’ve launched into is so visceral and so merciless, I feel like it’s a bloody reincarnation.
That brings me to my point; some of the exceptional advice I received was in a marketing class, something I’m not particularly skilled at. The advice was simply not to blog, tweet or facebook about writing. Talk about your passions instead. Ask about food, everyone loves food apparently, and give support and positive feedback to build an audience.
But, elbow deep in the guts of this novel and I can’t think about much else. Yeah, it’s a perverse visual. Unappealing. Not positive. DEFINITELY not appetizing.
Right now, this is my passion. Writing has taken over my professional identity lately. I’ve turned away graphic design clients, been slacking on my photography portfolio, all in the pursuit of crafting a novel. Little else draws me away with the exception of political debate – another tremendous no-no in the blogosphere.
I am passionate about my family and my volunteer work, but it’s mostly a private affair and not something I feel keen on sharing with the world. My Facebook will have some personal photos posted (I have a professional Facebook page, but rarely use it, something I need to correct) and a few asides for family and friends, but I’m pretty sure people don’t want to read those things.
This single minded focus has paid off – I’ve seen a few stories published, gotten some interesting requests at the conference and I’m going to have completed my first full length novel hopefully in the next few months. It’s essentially how I operate, on a single track. Finding other things to talk about can be difficult.
During this, a member of my crit group made the mistake of asking for detailed advice on her story beyond our critique sessions. Had she been able to see me, standing over the gutted remains of my own work, blood clinging to my arms and a maniacal glint in my eyes as I stirred the viscera searching for otherworldly guidance, she may have thought twice. The advice I gave was neither positive or appetizing but cold and calculated. Hard truth, something else I appreciate which isn’t blog / tweet / facebook friendly.
So, apologies to the #DFWTribe, I will still blog about writing. Maybe even watch my followers dwindle or more likely, run screaming for their very lives at the sight of all this. But a reminder – I’m a writer. I’m the guy who puts the freaking tree root in your way that catches your toe and sends you face first, panting with exhaustion, onto the cold earth. You can run, but you can’t hide.