It’s tough out here for a wannabe novelist extraordinaire.
All the articles, mostly written by other wannabes who have no business advising anyone on anything more complex than, say, applying hemorrhoid cream, tell us you’re supposed to blow up on social media to impress literary agents and publishing houses and Stormy Daniels.
But, in order to get a big social media following—with all the sex and tacos and goblin apologist bullshit that comes with it—you’ve got to have some kind of hook or product or celebrity and a shit-ton of luck and money, and perky boobs help.
Truth is most people, even the interesting ones, don’t garner much of a social media following. And most of that is follow-backs, the desperate symbiosis of look-at-me-ism.
I’ve tried and tried but whatever it is you gotta have to make people want to follow you on Twitter I apparently ain’t got. Which is fine. I have no interest in being a trendy political smart-ass.
I’d rather be writing.
And, I enjoy being an irascible misanthropic smart-ass just fine, thank-you.
Still, I iz both dumbfounded and annoyed at this catch-22.
You’re supposed have a platform to sell books but to have a platform you gotta have fans but you haven’t published your book because you don’t have a platform so how can you have fans of a book that hasn’t been published because … BREEEEEATHE!!! … you don’t have fans on your platform to buy your book that doesn’t exist because they don’t exist because the book doesn’t exist.
What they really mean is manipulate people into thinking you’re cool. And then, when you have a hundred-thousand-or-so digital friends, hit them over the head with the sales-pitch for your shitty book.
All that is to say: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!
No. It’s really to say that I have a bunch of short stories and four finished novels and other assorted writings I can’t share without Trumpian non-disclosure agreements because I’m trying to get them published in literary magazines and by publishing houses and crazed purveyors of manifestos.
Did I say “publishing” enough times there? PUBLISHING! PUBLISHING! PUBLISHING!
Nothing? No? Since no otherworldly book agent with bad teeth appeared before me to offer a haunted contract, I guess I’ll go on.
Wait … I seriously lost my train of thought. I know I was going somewhere with this.
Oh yeah—How’m I supposed to make fans of my writing if I can’t share my writing with them in … the … first … place?
I mean, sure, there are these swell blog posts I make. But these are mostly me complaining about bees and marriage and kids and marriage and writing and marriage. (Please ignore this obvious pattern)
Yeah-yeah. Now I remember.
What I meant to do in the beginning was talk about my most recent rejection. I mean the one I got today. Sure, I received one yesterday but that was for a story I plan on submitting elsewhere.
Because, why pay someone to kick you in the balls just the once when you can do it two or three or four times?
Anyways, I wrote this weird little prose-poetry-hybrid-whatsie-whosits piece specifically for a lit mag contest and they didn’t dig it, which is fine, so I’m going to post it on my blog.
Cuz I’m not sure what else to do with it.
It’ll be the first and only literary submission to go on benjamingohs.com.
But there will eventually be others since I’m thinking I need to set a limit on submissions.
After all, if I send a piece to seven or ten lit mags and they all reject it, chances are it’s just not good enough, right?
People talk about all the variables and subjectivity but if the story was truly good then someone would want it. Right?
I have to do something with my work because it’s just piling up around me. Dragging me down like an anchor pulling my soul into the dark abyss of despair.
Too dramatic? Perchance.
With all these poems and essays and stories going to waste I feel like the guy who invented hotdogs … except I have a bunch of literary lips and assholes taking up space in the warehouse.
How do you take your wieners?
Ironic. With just a soupçon of social commentary. And mustard.
I’d like to get some eyeballs other than my own on this work I spent so much time on.
Maybe I’ll start posting them as they hit their FU quotas.
Then my twos and threes of readers can take a look-see and maybe tell me why they think everyone is out to get me and also wrong.
Or, they’ll gather dust in obscurity. The writings not the readers. Shit, maybe them, too.
On second thought, I’m not sharing the piece. It’s probably stupid.
Besides, all this hotdog talk has made me nostalgic. Think I’ll go huff gasoline until I pass out.