Journeyman

it came out of the wordwork

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Monday means I'm home
srm, bookish
kinzel
Had a blast at AlbaCon and was sorry that this time around I couldn't stay the Sunday night ... on the other hand it was a beautiful ride home, amazingly trouble free, with blue skies, blazing colors of red green gold on the trees and traffic that just flowed, even around Boston.

Got back to the state O' Maine at sundown -- pretty exactly sundown. Which means I came over the border-marking  Piscataqua River Bridge,  which was brightly sunlit at the top but elsewise in shadow, descended into shade, and pulled into the first  tree-lined rest & welcome area, stretched, and the GPS went from day view to night view, telling me I was 2:00 hours from my destination.

Saw lots of old friends and folks at Albacon and met some new ones; got a chance briefly hang out with various of the writers, which was good, and had a small Liaden Lounge, complete with banner, which I failed to to document. I think there were some folks with cameras in the room -- if so, can you point me to photos?

So anyway, now I have all these piles of things to take care of, which  I guess I should do.

Eventually I need to talk at length about my thoughts on "publishing and social media"  ... they've been jelling over the last few conventions.

One  immediate point: I believe that mavens like Cory Doctorow -- inadvertence at work or not I can't say -- has convinced people that being a celebrity equates being a success as a writer, and that one can, in fact one ought to skip the stages of "normal" publishing.

Thus we have some young writers (that is, new or wannabes in the field, no matter their age) spending more time on "building their base", "interconnection", "branding", than on writing or creating.  Right -- it is useful for a writer to have a Facebook presence or to have followers on twitter. Want to follow my tweets?-- I'm Bechimo -- you can. You may have already found my LJ, and I'm building another web presence, too ... but to spend the first three years of your career telling people that you're going to be a writer worth following is leaving something out: a real reason for readers to be interested.  I mean John Scalzi was an overnight success, right?  I've seen and heard him pointed to that way, but overnight success?  Ummmm, no. That success was more than 10 years in the making ... and it came through real hard work, not from being viral.

So John gave people a reason to read him, and so did Doctorow, and so can any writer who writes, has talent, and who can reach the people. Reaching the people doesn't start the process -- having 17,000 Facebook friends doesn't mean you can write your way out of a paper plane.  Worse, the more would-be writers who crow their success stories before they have one, the less likely readers are to follow any single one.

I/we have been accused of being among the Oft Published Elite, and thus of being willfully In The Way of The Coming Thing.  But, you know, part of that being in the way is the weight of a few million actually published words, a few unsolicited awards, and guest convention appearances across North America, and readers willing to trust us with their hopes and money because we 1) have time in grade and 2) have performed more or less to spec for over 25 years.

And that's one immediate point because a publisher is waiting for our next three proposals, and I've only got one in the can.

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