Look. Here’s the most difficult part about putting your creativity out there. It isn’t that you might not be good enough, although anyone who doesn’t have that thought may be in need of more intense psychotherapy then they hopefully already receive. It isn’t the fear that people might not understand your work. I would be thrilled to have a base of non-fans that hate my work with an active passion. Jokes aside; everyone would love to be Nickelback.
No, the most harrowing reality of the creative life is that most people aren’t going to care one shit about what you’ve made. As time has gone on, I have done increasingly better at selling my books at events, but it would be hard to do worse than how events went initially. The first book event I ever did—and I’ve told this story a number of times, but never here on the blog—I only had Right - A Novel of Politics available. It was a long five hours of polite disinterest. I made one sale that day, to a lady who thought she was standing in line for something else, didn’t speak much English, and was too polite to admit either. #stillcounts
It can be difficult to get people to care**. We small-timers need signal boosts wherever we can get them. So, after three months of bring you The Fourth Wall, I think I might be tired of talking about my own stuff. Let’s change it up, shall we? I’m going to devote this entire blog to the other creators out there. Sure the masterminds behind all of these products are friends, but I have, would, and do partake of all of these items and brand. They come with the official Party Now, Apocalypse Later seal of approval.
I’ve talked on this space about A Murder of Storytellers before. Since their initial collection, Happy Days, Sweetheart, they’ve been putting out anthologies twice a year, giving up-and-coming authors the world over a chance at their first exposure to the larger world of letters. Their latest, The Misbehaving Dead, released just last month and more are on the schedule. Adrean Messmer runs the show, and she and Jack Burgos have extended their profile by starting a YouTube channel devoted to readings of horror flash fiction. Check it out!
Hate to read? Well, sure… But reading had nothing but good things to say about you. If you prefer to get your information and entertainment through your ears, can I recommend a podcasting network to you? No, not The Fourth Wall… If you’re here, you’ve probably already listened to that. Check out the Snarkcasts, part of the Gumbie Cat Network. Collective Snark (a general pop culture chat show), Beyond the Cabin in the Woods (A Good Ghoul’s Guide to Horror), and Once More With Feeling (a 20th anniversary Buffy fancast) should all provide ample enjoyment for your commute, jog, or other activity where reading may not be ideal***. Your humble blogger may appear**** in some of those episodes, so why aren’t you already listening.
Looking for something a little… Sigh. There’s no adjective I would type here that I wouldn’t feel weird sharing with you, so let’s just get into porn, all right? But before I start talking about porn, let’s frame our discussion. Just because something is porn, does it have to be bad? Should it be bad?
Or in the alternative, just because it’s porn, can’t it have a little bit of story?
Yeah, I’m not sure what the answer to any of those questions are, but at Inkubus Publishing LLC, the shadowy and mysterious Gio Lassater is ensuring that smut with a plot reigns supreme. At press time, Lassater refused requests for an interview. In fact, to this day, no one has seen Lassater in person. How mysterious, Shannon. Check them out here. Don’t worry; I won’t judge you.
As you can see, we’re all hard at work, but it isn’t always easy. There are moments that I (and, I would assume, the creators listed above) struggle with going on like this. Success may never come, but it will certainly never come if we don’t go through all of this in the first place. Author Roxanne Gay took to Twitter recently to decry the idea of the over-night success and argue for the development of craft in pursuit of eventual success. It was something I needed to hear, and you should probably check it out.
There are probably more straightforward, less fun paths to success and prosperity, but if it’s all the same to everybody, I’m going to stay right here. In the mean time, take a look at everybody else. We could use your eyes. On our stuff. We don’t actually want to steal your eyes. Well, I can’t vouch for everybody up above. Some of them might very much be interested in harvesting organs.
*Please don’t sue, Yoko Ono.
**About anything, I suppose, but that’s probably a blog post for a different time.
***Macrame is about the only viable excuse for not reading that I can think of.
****Read: has appeared, and has already recorded future appearances.