The blog has been stale although I have been busy.
In posts across the web, that “although” is a “because” — you know you’ve read it, here and a thousand other blogs. Which is a problem. It’s one thing to know silent business is a missed opportunity to self-promote, another to make it an aspect of writing and not an intrusion. With Jeff VanderMeer’s Booklife, I am learning how to change that.
I am late to Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent fiction, but when the esteemed Paulo Bacigalupi mentioned VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, & Acceptance) on three separate panels at CapClave, I took it for advice — and I loved Annihilation. (The others wait for Xmastime.)
But, in the dealer’s room at World Fantasy Convention, after VanderMeer signed my copy of Annihilation, I passed a table that had his book Booklife. Just the title made my heart both sink and rise. A booklife? What’s that? I want one. I really do.
A lot of writing guides are about writing, or about submitting. They mention social media but they make it a second job, the one that you thought would be done for you when a publisher plucked you out of the slush pile. Of course, that division of labor has gone the way of elevator operators, but you don’t need a second job.
So VanderMeer steps back before writing or publishing to the initial goal — to have a booklife –and how each part of 21st-Century media is part of that. Again, not untrodden ground in how-to-write guidance, and since MySpace gets a whole page it is not up-to-the-minute technical advice either. But the idea of varied steps toward a goal makes for a clear and integrated approach without relying on any one site or style — and, makes it at least seem possible with nothing more than a to-do list and a good work ethic.
Thanks Jeff! We’ll see how I do.