I’m right in the middle of this conundrum at the moment, for another project that I’m trying to fund via Kickstarter. I really wanted to publish the book myself, to choose what kind of promotion I did for the book, to keep it all within the confines of the kind of promotion that I am okay with when receiving it from other people.
But I realise that even that is embarrassing and awkward, even just the telling people what you are doing. I’m really embarrassed by it, not because I think what I have done is dreadful, but because I don’t want friends to fork out money for my book unless they really want it, unless they want it as much as if they did not know the author.
Not sure how this is going to resolve. Perhaps this is no better than going through the kind of promotion that mainstream publication gives you.
I’m reminded of the frustrated comments of the publisher of Charles Webb, author of The Graduate, where he detailed all of the things that Charles Webb refused to do to promote the book. ‘What do you want me to do, Charles?’, said the publisher. ‘You want me to publish the book, or just print the book?’
Some friends (Chris Callard and Catherine Grimaldi) recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for the children’s book they are publishing (trying to publish perhaps, Kickstarter being no kind of certainty). And whilst this is hardly unusual nowadays, I really liked what they wrote on their blog about the project, on their reasons for doing so.
(I wrote more about this here.)
|—||Geoff Dyer (in Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It), quoting the Stalker in the Tarkovsky film Stalker|
Beautiful… was reminded of this just as I got rid of an old Mac that no longer works… I’m hoping that the person who’s taking it is going to use it for this kind of purpose…
Michael Azerrad, author of Our Band Could Be Your Life
I like this, but am still musing over exactly what it means…
I love this. Thor Harris could be the poster boy for the Live Cheaply chapter of The Tyranny of Careers. And it feels right that it’s written in caps.
6. GET YOUR CLOTHES FROM THRIFT STORES. WITH THE PHYSIQUE YOU’LL HAVE FROM RIDING YOUR BIKE, YOU’LL LOOK HOT WEARING ANYTHING.
8. LEARN A TRADE – CARPENTRY, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, AUTO MECHANICS, TAILORING, COMPUTER/ELECTRONICS REPAIR, SOMETHING THEY CAN’T FUCKING OUTSOURCE. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR MASTERS IN DOSTOYEVSKY….
(in other words: make your subsistence work a trade)
10. DO PEOPLE FAVORS. IT’S CALLED COOPERATION. IT’S HOW THE WORLD WORKED BEFORE MONEY. THEY WILL RETURN THE FAVOR, OR SOMEONE WILL. NO SHIT. THIS REALLY WORKS.
(Find your gang. Favours are easy to trade between your gang members.)
13. FIND WORK YOU LOVE. IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THEN FIND A JOB WHERE YOU LOVE THE PEOPLE.
(Or rather – do both. Find work that you love, for free, that you find fulfilling and gives you self-esteem. Find a job for money where you love the people and couldn’t care less about the work.)
(thanks to austinkleon for the link)
Czech animator Jan Svankmajer recently held an exhibition in my nearby city of Brighton. Hidden amongst his well-known films and some amazing recent sculptures using animal skeletons was his Decalogue, written in 2006, a set of creative rules for himself.
They refer to animation and film as that is his artistic practice. But really they could be about anyone’s creative work.
Succumb totally to your obsessions. There is nothing better. Obsessions are the relics of your childhood … It is not about specific memories, it is about feelings. It is not about consciousness, it is about unconsciousness.
So discover the important themes and feelings of your life, and treat them as your most important work. This is what I always forget when I drift away from current work to something that might more readily be published. The most important work, the work that will satisfy you the most, is that which deals with your obsessions. (Compare J.G. Ballard on obsessions.)
Cultivate your creativity as a form of self-therapy … If there is any purpose at all in creativity it is that it liberates us. No film (painting, poem) can liberate a viewer if it didn’t liberate its author first … Creativity as a process of permanently liberating people.
This has always been the feeling that rears its head from time to time, and which I submerge in favour of thinking about prestige or money. But it is the most important reason for doing any kind of creative work. We feel liberation and take comfort from other people’s work, by recognising that there exist other people with our obsessions. We are this way encouraged to make work of our own (that might liberate and comfort others) – but our work will only do so if the work liberates ourselves in the first place.(I can’t really put my finger on what liberation means here. I just have a sense that this right. Perhaps liberation happens because you are performing self-therapy about your obsessions.)
Never work, always improvise … [A script] is a non-binding document you should only return to when your imagination lets you down.
For me improvisation always feels scarier, but always turns out better, more flowing, more from the subconscious. In fact from this I am now experimenting with a specific instruction to myself: a second draft of anything must always be written from scratch, without reference to the first, improvising from the ideas embedded in my mind from the first draft. Any good first draft ideas/passages can be edited in later.More on Jan Svankmeyer.