Monday, June 05, 2006

Typecast

“You know, you’re not going to get any attention from publishers if you only post twice a week,” he* says between gulps of beer. And as an afterthought, “You’ve been good the past couple of days though.” His version of moral support. Like the elementary school teacher who cushions criticism with compliments to soften the blow.

I snort into my glass and roll my eyes. “How many times do I have to tell you? I didn’t start the site to fish for a book deal.” Another snort. “I started it so I could talk shit about the world without anyone knowing who I am.”

Since the advent of the blog-to-book phenomenon, everyone who thinks they can write has started a website in the hopes of snagging a check with a dizzying number of zeros in exchange for 100,000 words of bullshit. More specifically, their bullshit. I won’t go so far as to say the thought never crossed my mind. Sure, I’ve fantasized about it, entertained the notion of clicking on my inbox and finding an email from a literary agent or editor interested in meeting me—at the very least getting a free lunch or dinner. But the fact of the matter is, bloggers are the literary equivalent of Asian chicks. A novelty—exotic, mysterious, intriguing—and then one day they fart while you’re engaging in pillow talk, and just like that poof the novelty’s gone.

How many of these blogger-cum-authors will actually stand the test of time?

Some have already begun their steady decline into obscurity. Their creative juice unable to hold its own once the blog identity fades. The Bitch image might have worked to get you publicity as a contestant on Survivor, but will get you nowhere as an actress. Similarly, people might want to read about the Anonymous Angry Sanitation Worker’s opinions, but how will the image hold when you’re trying to be taken seriously for your words? Actors and writers work to avoid typecasts. They strive towards versatility. Therefore, a label that worked as an effective marketing tool in the superficial internet or reality TV celebrity sense will ultimately stunt your ability to get legitimate work.

What happens when the Circus Clown gets the book deal and tells his publisher he wants to write a romance drama for his second book? He’s going to be running away to join the circus again mighty fast.

So, no. I don’t write this site for a book deal. Will I pass the link out as a sample of my work (with the proper disclaimer that it’s “just for fun”)? Yes. Do I expect publishers to notice me because of it? No. Will I feel incredibly fortunate if a publisher were to notice me because of it? Yes. Will I cry and stamp my feet when they don’t? No.

At the end of the day, this site is just a load of steaming bullshit streaming out of my ears and onto the screen for your reading pleasure. It helps me as a writer because it lets me flex my creative muscle regularly with the comfort of knowing that these are not the words that define my ability. It helps me as a writer because when I check my site meter and I see that of the 200 or so hits I got that day, 50 people actually stayed for more than five minutes to browse the archives, it offers me encouragement. It helps me because every now and then someone leaves a nice or nasty comment, agrees or disagrees with one of my views, and the simple fact that something I wrote can garner a response is enough motivation for me to continue doing it.

Thanks for reading.

-L

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*"He" is not B. I have no idea why people decided to assume that.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i personally love your writing... so don't listen to that guy (your brother?) and please continue to post at least 2 new entries a week. =) helps me get through my work day and all.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous -b said...

yep, not a conversation by me. in fact, i'm totally against blogging as an attempt to market yourself. even got into and argument with my sis about it.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

"He" is B, not Brother, but Bouncer. No?

2:50 PM  
Blogger CEO of the World said...

Eh?

-L

3:08 PM  
Anonymous -b (the brother) said...

you had me at "he-". actually, you lost me at "he-".

3:16 PM  
Blogger treespotter said...

how come i never got a book deal?!? how very disappointing.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous km said...

i love your site. it's nice to read things and actually feel like i'm reading about something... even when you're talking about nothing and no matter what i enjoy it. that's when you kno you're good.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ exactly.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so cute ;)

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I mean, I'm guessing that "he*" at the beginning of this post is "Rob" the Bouncer from standingonthebox. 'fess up.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

b is also for busted!!!!

1:04 AM  

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