Friday, July 8, 2011

Edits, edits, edits.

I spent a chunk of today listening to my Ingrid Michaelson station on Pandora and finishing up the last round of intentional edits on my soon-coming book of poetry. I still need to go over it a few times, and trick request a few beta readers to take a gander at it. This process is a lot harder than I initially thought it would be, but it's very rewarding.

I remember when I was a child, I dreamt of becoming an author. I read so many articles in copies of Writer's Journal and Writer's Digest my father would buy me on trips to Paducah.Once, he bought me a massive great book with all kinds of tips for being published. He's always been big on my writing, Dad has. Mom has, too, but it's not the same for her. She doesn't enjoy reading like Dad and I do, and Dad's written a few things he should get published.

That's the thing that really surprises me. I mean, growing up, if you'd told me there'd be a day when I wouldn't have to beg a publisher, or defend my artistic vision to an agent, or compromise my story for the sake of what some bigwig thought, I'd have told you to stop getting my hopes up. It was just a pipe-dream that I could get my work out there in the same way that I wrote it, and a lottery to be published.

While that's still true for traditional publishing, technological advances and the oversaturation of the Internet in our lives has led to a kazillion ways for artists to share their work that they never, ever could have in the past, with audiences they never would've reached even five or ten years ago. It's utterly amazing to me.

That being said, it shifts the legwork of editing, publicity, and all that other jazz to the author, but I think that not only gives me more control, but makes me a more well-rounded businessman. I'm willing to do the work if it gets me what I want, as long as I can keep my head out of the Pessimist Pond it settles into sometimes.

My father has always been hard on me when it comes to employment. If I miss a day of work, even if I'm sick, it's a lecture. God help me if I quit a perfectly good job. My whole being was brought into amazement, then, when the last time I suggested getting a job all my father said was "I think you should write."

Maybe if this goes over well, he'll publish a few of his own works?


  1. I'll be perfectly willing to read for you.

  2. Surprisingly enough my own father unveiled to me once when I was younger that he himself wrote poetry. A simple fact I had never known, but one even considering his education is astounding. Furthermore I was shocked when family members approach him now and request he craft something for them to be recited at their funerals, not to mention when it became known he had written a piece that mom had turned into a song. A song that they were asked permission to record for a charity album. My own father always pushed us (and still does) in everything we do. And much like your own father, mine encouraged me to seek publication as well. He's the reason a few of my own poems made it into print years ago. If they see in us the ability, they try to forge us and sharpen it so that we might surpass them. If your own father has faith in your ability, then there can be no question.