The first one happened a little over two weeks ago. A woman in my writing group hired me to work on her book. She has a lot of material she’s written over the last few years and needs help organizing it, seeing where there’s overlap, seeing where there’s empty spaces, and getting it into some sort of order. I’ve finished the first read-through of everything she has, and am about to start taking inventory and putting things in order. I have to do that to see where the overlap and empty spaces are, as there’s a huge amount of material. It’s going to be a huge long-term project but I’m really excited about it and enjoying the work.
Last week a woman approached me while I was walking down the street. She asked if I might help her mother when she comes to the island in a month or two, doing some sort of ghostwriting or helping record family history. Another project that sounds really awesome.
About a month ago I gave the director of the local theater building a copy of the CD from my show last year, so she could see if she’d consider having me perform there, and if my work fit into what they do. She listened to it and wrote back with suggestions. The first was that I put out my stories in “zine” form in cafes around town. She said she’s a big fan of the “zine” scene in NY and said she really wants to see my stories out there.
I’m unsure about the idea for a few reasons. First is that I don’t want putting my work out in one form to take away from doing it as a book, which is my ultimate goal. At the same time, I do want to garner as much interest as possible. I also don’t know if doing something like that could in any way be profitable. Not that it won’t be worth it if it isn’t, it’s just more to weigh out. So far I’ve had someone else do the layout for my little chapter chapbooks (which would pretty much be the same as the zine form that this woman suggested), but I’d like to learn how to do it myself (and if I can on this lame-ass computer) if I’m going to take on this project. I just don’t know if I should. There is also the issue of the small island where I live. It makes me slightly uncomfortable to put out true stories about my life under my real name in such a small community. Then again, is that part of being an artist? In general I’m more comfortable with the idea of strangers reading my writing than people I know.
Does anyone have any thoughts/experience on this sort of thing? Do you think a “zine” would take away from the eventual book or help gain interest for it?
This same woman wants me to organize an event that involves artists/writers of my taste and involves multi-media (music or movement, anything really). She wants me to come up with an idea and propose it to her, and we go from there. It’s a really interesting proposal because though there’s a lot of artistic things going on locally, I wouldn’t say much of it is “of my taste.” In a lot of ways I don’t really fit into the community where I live (demographically, mostly) and don’t often feel there’s a good test audience for my material. So this will be a great opportunity to dig around, find more, explore and then put forth something that I’d be interested in seeing. I’m almost lost as to where to start, so it’ll be a challenge, which I think is a good thing, a very good thing.
And lastly, I just talked to someone at the local library about teaching a writing class in the fall. I have two weeks to get the information together–what part or genre of writing I’ll focus on, how to market the class, how many sessions it’ll be, what I’ll charge, what the minimum number of participants is, etc. Again, a lot of work, a lot of narrowing down, a lot of focusing, but well worth it.
So, for now (as I never want to assume too much for the future, as it always seems to slip away when you assume too hard), there’s a lot going on, a lot of new, interesting and challenging opportunities. I don’t know where that’s all going or if they’ll all come through, but I hope this wave leads me somewhere, as I’d eventually like to leave this island and start living somewhere else. I just don’t want to do it aimlessly, I want it somehow to connect in and have purpose for the goals I have in my life, which mostly relate to writing and publishing my work.