Wednesday, June 06, 2018

got the do-your-own-pr blues. i also feel like i don't have that much out there really. spent my quarter-time, for almost four years in texas, playing music and developing my writing. what do i have to show for it? lots of poetry, which mostly people ignore, five books of short stories, which do ok, quaker plays, and, well, that's about it. my son is off on his fourth youtube channel and each one makes more than all my work combined.

the problem is, when i got into finishing my autobiography, that there are really a lot of choices there, and i hadn't really thought about them. i'd done almost all the writing, in fact, all, so that now, having proofread it, i can say i'm done. there's a few more things i want to put into it, and will; it's about a hundred jam-packed, small-type pages and will probably be more like 180 when it all comes out on a book. one of the choices is, make a proof, and show it when asked, or just publish it? another choice is, include some stuff or not. and finally, it was written over a course of ten years or so, and writing style changed a little. i could update that style - the present version has a lot of dashes, and isn't very formal - or, i could simply sharpen up parts of it so it's a mishmash of different styles, leaning toward the present. i'm leaning toward that second option, because i've called it true stories from out there which advertises, basically, that i wrote them originally here. i did. i wrote them over a period of about twelve years, with a kind of casual, dash-throwing style. and i might want to keep that, if only to say, this is what i've written over the years.

i did that to some degree with the plays. when faced with the option of updating, making them current and the best possible, incorporating all my knowledge of play-writing, still i chose to go with the original format, just proofread it and stuck it in there as it was. there's something to be said for a set of things written over time, and not having the same values applied systematically to all of them, so that one can actually see evolution over time.

in this case there are a hundred chapters. fifty, running straight through, the even ones, are autobiographical and tell the story of my life in order, given fifty different places i lived. because in fact i could only remember forty eight i added a chapter or two, maybe i considered the appalachian trail as a place i lived, as i lived there for about ten days, before moving on. whatever. on the story side, true stories from out there, it shows a little of my geographical orientation as well - not every story has a surprise climax, or even a point. if i think about it, i could probably make it so that it has the best of my stories, of every one i've ever told. some of those are included, in much smaller form, within other chapters. so there are some choices to be made about the prominence of stories.

anyway knowing it was almost done, and feeling a little up by virtue of getting the thousand haiku off my plate, i applied myself to this autobiography thinking that, within a week, i could get it done. it's a week, or maybe two, and not done. and also, i'm a little hesitant about publishing it. ex-wives, people who might object - what does a person do? my goal there was just to tell the truth, minimally - stuff you can't argue about. still it might bother people. my version in some cases directly contradicts others'.

but all this isn't the p-r blues. the p-r blues are as follows. i want to take my summer and do the stuff that will make what i've written so far, sell better. and i want to do this without spending money, because i've gotten this principle in mind, that i just don't want to spend money generating sales. i have managed so far, and actually i'm proud of myself, because a lot of people put major investment into generating sales, and generally, i haven't. so what i've got, i got all my myself, in a home-generated p-r system that includes mostly only blogs, amazon and acx, the tools that provide self-made profile sites. now i say this confidently and happily; to me it's a matter of pride. yet i sit here with no sales (or close to none) and get depressed. i sit down to write and, faced with my own life story, can't get past it.

i go outside, and a thick cloud comes over the mountain, but no rain. the clouds gather and pass over, from the south, and later in the summer, i'm sure we'll get some moisture. but at the moment, it's hazy, and cloudy, and nothing. extreme fire danger. no smoking outdoors. brittle as a pile of sticks.

such as it is, i'll just hold the line, so to speak, and carry on.


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