Writing–or publishing, at least–is like silicon valley, in that everyone is always doing great. It’s a cultural norm within the business of cheery silence. Everything’s great! we chirp while our eyes water. Leave the vulnerability on the page.

I’m not good at this. Certainly to my detriment.

My husband recently, in the nicest way possible, referred to me as Inside Out Boy. I went over the top of the swing and now all my meat’s on the outside, and it’s sore. I have no poker face. The first real hurdle to a friendship is that lack of a poker face. The second is them realizing I under-react to pain. I once got stung by a scorpion at work (no indoor meeting space), said “ow!” and completed the interview. Doesn’t it hurt? Yes, very much, I say, smiling. They do the math, having seen that I am frequently in pain, and they draw a horrible conclusion. They wonder if they can handle being around me, knowing that whatever pain I express, it’s probably worse. Some can’t.

I wrote this last November.

I know the story of how I would never be a writer. That story ended at nineteen. Maybe this is a mistake. Maybe the sixty years after that is an epilogue where I mourn or fail to mourn me, a writer, long dead. I know that story. I still tell myself that story.

Let’s tell a different one.

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NaNoWriMo Day #18 – Writing requires a self to provide the words

The story, unfortunately, is not going well at the moment. But Advent is nearly over. Tomorrow is the solstice, and the sun always comes back. Of course I’m not the sun, I’m a depressive, but we writers do love our metaphors.

Social Capital in Publishing, Pt 1

Fiction publishing is a relationship industry. Whether you are published, where, and how your book gets publicity is largely driven by who you know and how much they’re willing to do for you, and it’s only getting more unequal. As a marginalized person, I think about this a lot. Socioeconomic status is an intersection of a number of factors–  disability status, race, gender, education, etc.– but I want to talk today about specifically social capital. I’ll talk about what it is, how it fits into publishing, why it is vital to build it, and why the Internet’s not really a good place to do it. In Part 2, I’ll talk about potential strategies for marginalized creators to build it in the service of their careers.

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