Welcome to Booklifenow.com, a site that serves as support for and a supplement to my new book Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer.
(Would you trust these guys to advise you on your Booklife? Sure you would! Matt Staggs and Jeff VanderMeer, at a conference in Memphis, after running the first-ever Booklife workshop. Jeff had lost his dress slacks, button-down shirt, and blazer, and had to do the workshop in cargo shorts, t-shirt, and hoodie.)
My book is somewhat unique: a manual that’s about how to be a writer in our new media age, but with the spotlight on sustainable creativity and sustainable careers rather than on new media tools, although tools are an integral part of the discussion.
There’s such a welter of advice and options available via the internet that, after 25 years in the industry—as a writer, editor, publisher, teacher, and, creative consultant—I felt it was important to provide a guide that’s both practical and idealistic. The reason for the focus on career and creativity is that a focus primarily on the tools you might use to achieve success would also mean a discussion that’s more about tactics than strategy. Nothing hurts a writer more than to think primarily on a tactical rather than strategic level. (Example: the idea that spending a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter automatically guarantees you an audience for your books.)
Booklife integrates discussion of the topics traditional to such manuals with how the landscape has changed as a result of the innovations of the electronic age. Although many of these changes are wonderful, it isn’t a uniformly positive development—new media can fragment you, disrupt your ability to be creative, and make you pursue tactical goals that don’t support your overall career. It also may be hard to determine how to be an effective advocate for your book without sacrificing what’s most important: your personal joy stemming from the creative impulse, your intimate relationship with your writing.
This blog will provide a sometimes brash, sometimes clinical exploration of these issues—posting excerpts from Booklife, expanding on material from the book, soliciting the opinions of other experts, and in general providing you as a beginning or intermediate writer with a resource for good advice for your Private and Public Booklife. (Even advanced writers may benefit from the content.) My goal is to never post any content that I don’t think is genuine, honest, and of use. Helping me in this regard will be my friend the creative consultant Matt Staggs, whose ideas are an integral part of the book.
What, specifically, can you expect from Booklifenow.com between now and the end of the year?
- -New content every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, some excerpted from Booklife and some original to the site. For this special opening week, though–content every day!
- -A “Top 10 Links” for the week feature by Matt Staggs (every Friday starting Oct. 30; Matt is a publicist, writer and creative consultant focused on facilitating the success of both authors and publishers.)
- -Recommendations of the top writing resources–websites and books (we will never recommend anything we don’t support one hundred percent)
- -News about Booklife-related events that bring workshops and other resources to your area
- -Periodic Friday Q&A sessions where you can ask an expert about issues related to your Booklife
As I write in Booklife, no one ever achieves all of their goals–I keep the photo above as an amusing reminder of that fact–but striving to do the best possible job is half the battle.
I hope you’ll join us on this journey, and contribute to the conversation. And, as part of getting know our audience, I’d love it if you’d take the time to comment and tell me a little bit about who you are and what career or creativity issues related to writing are most on your mind at the moment.
(A big thanks to Publishers Weekly’s Booklife portal for their cooperation and help, as well as the immensely talented Luis Rodrigues for creating this website.)