Sunday, January 22, 2012

Can I Admit How Clueless I Am?

Can I do that? Is that okay?

I started taking my writing "seriously" six years ago.  I've read lots of writing memoirs. Attended Cons and Workshops. Worked on my Creative Writing MA. Sought advice from established writers, talked hours of shop with peers, listened earnestly to mentors as they impressed upon me the importance of doing this and not doing that...

And, yes.

Sigh.

I gave advice.

Just because I sold a few shorts stories (and I use the word "sold" kindly.  They were semi-pro payment stories in collections).  Wrote a novella.  Edited a poetry anthology (still in the works) and edited the Halloween issue of Shroud.  So I thought I was all that.  In the position to give advice.

It's only been the last year or so that I've realized any advice I probably gave was either misguided, misinformed, or flat out wrong.  I've been working to divest myself of preconceived notions about lots of things - like digital and POD self-publishing, for example - simply because that was one thing on a list of many things that folks who "knew" better told me "not" to do.  I just received Robert Swartwood's Man of Wax. Richard Wright's Cuckoo and Glen Krisch's upcoming Nothing Lasting will be next, because I'm going to confront this self-publishing thing head on: if these three works pass muster (which I have a feeling they will), a re-ordering of my ideas will be in order.

Which doesn't mean I'm giving up traditional publishing.  Robert Swartwood himself cautioned in a recent comment here that "just because you CAN self -publish, doesn't mean you SHOULD."  It does mean, however, that I need to start from scratch.  Throw everything I thought about writing out the window, and start anew with the ONLY two things about writing that I know for sure:

1. I love writing and will never stop
2. I want people to read my writing

Anyway, no more advice.  Actually, some advice about what advice not to give, from Nick Mamatas, which sparked this blog. Because other than those above two things, I know NOTHING about this whole thing, anymore.

But that's okay, because those two things are enough.