Gone writing …

June12 221

Gone writing. Yes, again. I’ve spent the morning working on a writing-for-pay job, and now I’ve got the afternoon (an hour or two, anyway) to work on hopeful-writing, ie. the new book. I’d love to tell you more, but I’m way too superstitious. If this makes it to a full manuscript, in months or years or whenever, I will run around shouting the news from any available top: hilltop, rooftop, mountaintop. You get the picture.

Meantime, imagine me quietly plugging away.

(Total aside: I keep hearing about these crowd-funded novel-writing enterprises — it seems the latest thing to do. Forget about applying for a professional grant, and sign up instead to ask many online strangers to donate a few dollars each toward a specific project. I’m kind of shaking my head, but also curious; under what circumstances could that possibly work?)

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    I rarely tell the “real” thing i’m working on. It unravels the mystery- gets talked out. If I find myself talking about a work i’m working on in detail I then think if I’m telling this much it must not be the real thing. THE THANG, I say sometimes.. the thang. This thang i’m working on and when I hesitate to say anything about it when someone asks then, I know-aha–on the path again. Superstitious I am. Silence, cunning,exile, Margaret Atwood once reminded us in great essay the Rocky Road to Paper Heaven. http://www.myscribeweb.com/TheRockyRoadToPaperHeaven.html I still think regardless of folks soliciting – -her advice is sound.

  2. Carrie Snyder

    Must read that essay, Sheree. And I agree with what you say about talking something out — the mystery evaporates. I like the discover as I write and anything I’ve overplanned just kind of vanishes, or I lose the energy to see it through. The writing is where the magic happens.

  3. AlisonG

    Hi Carrie! I’ve been reading and loving your blog since you did that series for the National Post.

    I’ll chime in on the crowdfunding thing because I just did a fundraiser to self-publish my travel memoir. I’ve gotten grants before (and believe me, they’re much less work!) but the advantage of crowdfunding is that you can make sure there’s a readership for your book and start building a platform and community to help promote the book once it comes out.

    I was able to bring in over $10,000 and much of it was from friends and family. The average contribution was around $70. I also did a lot of social media and blog promotion through my colleagues in the coaching world (I’m a creativity coach who works with writers and artists).

    Here’s the campaign if you’re curious.

    So to answer your question, the circumstances under which it works are: you can demonstrate the quality of your project through a sample or some other track record, you’ve got a good established network, you’re social-media savvy, and you’re willing to put in the time on getting the word out. Oh, and you can handle the risk of raising money in public and maybe not making your goal!

  4. AlisonG

    Oh, and on the pertinent question of whether talking about a project ahead of time takes all the juice out of it — I agree, when it comes to fiction. None of my grant proposals have ended up looking anything like the finished product, and I would be very wary of promising to have a novel or book of short stories produced on a schedule.

    This memoir project was more of a known quantity, and having written a big chunk of it, I knew I could finish in the same vein. I’m beavering away on it now! And having a bunch of people anticipating the book has been good motivation and accountability. I’m able to prioritize the writing because I want to stay on schedule.

  5. Carrie Snyder

    Thanks for your comments, Alison. I appreciate hearing from someone who has experience with indigogo … and admit that it doesn’t sound like it’s for me, at least not right now, and not for any project I’ve got on the go.

    It’s good to know more about it — and thanks for being honest about the downsides and difficulties, too.

    Glad to hear those National Post pieces brought you here! 🙂


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