Sunday, June 5, 2011

What's The Deal With The Goofy Web Cam?

So.  You may have recently noticed the birth of my early morning Writers' Web Cam.

What's the deal, you ask?  And why am I so...goofy?  Aren't I concerned about professionalism?  My image?  Will these antics seem off-putting, disengaging, clashing with the "image" of a "serious" writer who wants to be taken "seriously" in the genre?


And bah again.

One of the fine lines I've had to straddle the past few years chasing after a writing career is taking the writing itself dead seriously - which wasn't a problem, really - but learning to NOT take myself seriously at all.  At first, I was very concerned and worried about what folks thought about me.  What this guy thought about me, that writer, that editor, what if I posted a blog that annoyed this person, seemed trivial to another, yadda yadda, yadda yadda.  

In fact, I got to a point so low, depressed that I had no "catchy" blog hooks, completely absorbed about what folks thought about me, I pulled down the old website/blog at, and seriously considered not blogging at all anymore.  

Until I asked my wonderful, beautiful, ever supportive - and tolerant - and patient - and FORGIVING - wife if it would be okay just to blog about our LIFE, in specific detailing our struggles with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder, and blog about our life in general (and because writing is part of my life, that gets thrown in).

She was down with it, so here we are.

So I've worked hard to exorcise my concerns about what people think of me.  I've consulted lots of great folks for advice, about my own self as a person and a writer (thank you Michelle, Rio, Norm, Kelly). And while I'm not there completely, I feel a lot freer to let it hang and be who I want to be.

And, also, comes this quote I discovered, (and posted awhile ago), about the late Charles L. Grant's professionalism. Visit the link to read the whole thing, but this last paragraph really slapped me in the head about what it means to be a professional:

One of the crucial differences between the pro and the amateur is that the pro is able to place both sets of feelings - the good and the bad - within a fairly narrow range; unlike the students of many college creative-writing courses, who may consider themselves Prousts one day and feel like killing themselves the next, the pro is simply able to push on, determined to do the best he can possibly do, to grow as much as he can grow, and to perform, each day, an almost incredible feat of intellectual and imaginative strength: to look at the ream of blank paper beside the typewriter without quailing, to see not so much hostile and inimical white space but invisible words that need only be brought up and out.

Charlie Grant is this sort of writer.

And, dammit, I want to be the kind of writer also.  THAT's what I want to strive for, not some pseudo-veneer of professionalism that makes me worry incessantly about what people think of me.  Now, granted, no one ever TOLD me I should worry all the time, it's just something I gave birth to all on my own. 

And hey - I know myself.  I'm a laid back, conservative guy.  My Con behavior, therefore, is not going to be all that embarrassing, but I'm not going to be afraid to enjoy myself.  And, even that, for me Cons are not about partying, because if I learned ONE thing most from Dad, it was his work ethic.  When you find something you're good at and want, if you really want go out and GET IT.  

Every. Day.

So even at Cons, I'm the lamo who is in bed by at least 1 AM, so I can get up at 8 and squeeze in two hours of writing before everything kicks into gear.  For me, Cons are opportunities to not only hang out with my writer friends, network and make contacts...but they're just two more days of writing and work, too.

Because that's what's most important.  The work.  The words.  And that's all.  

Norman Partridge was kind enough recently to stop by on my blog when I was lamenting about missing World Horror, to remind me what was most important.  The writing.  The writing.  

The writing. And by extension, the work I put into it.

So why the silly Writers' Web Cam?

Why not?  For a laugh.   Because I have strange thoughts at 3 AM, and an odd idea of what is "funny", and I think I should share.  If one person sees me at 3 AM, hair muzzed, eyes wide and crazy, playing with my plush Cthulhu doll, and gets a chuckle out of it...

Then I feel good.  And hey.   I'll always be respectful, courteous, polite, soft-spoken until you REALLY get to know me, because that's the way Mama raised me, and I'll work the hell out of writing, because that's what Dad taught me, through advice and example: you want something, you work and don't stop, even after you think you've got it.

That's something I don't mind folks judging me by.  All the rest is just the product of my rather warped sense of whimsy.

And besides, you've followed this blog and followed me on Twitter and Facebook long enough.  You should know what you're in store for by now...