So here it is January 1st, 2010 (at least according to my calendar–yours may vary by a day or two one way or the other), and by long standing tradition a time for New Year’s Revolutions. This is to be a big year for me –momentous, even–and hence a big year for all of us at Wetmachine– exalted Wetmechanics like me and mere lowly wetmachine readers like you alike. So pay attention. These revolutions could save your life.
Why is 2010 going to be so momentous, which is not to say (or is to say, depending on the definition you choose) portentous, you ask? Because 2010 is going to be the year that all my problems go away. Howso, you ask? First, during this year I will become a wildly successful writer. Achieving wild writerly success will make me financially solvent. Being financially solvent will reduce my worry and stress, and my health will improve as a consequence. Seeing that, the Fates will smile upon me and grant me a reprieve from all my other worries and problems.
Let me explain. Other than my own financial and physical health, I have only two other kinds of problems: (1) The world is going all to hell (global warming, Darfur, Wes Welker, etc), and; (2) people near to me have problems, and this causes me worry, which is a problem.
The first class of problem I solve by fiat, that is, by declaring the world’s going all to hell “not my problem”. That leaves only the second class, the problems by proxy. Because all problems stem from not having enough money, when I become financially unbound as a consequence of becoming a successful writer, I will give mass quantities of money to people close to me, and thus their problems will go away, which will make my problem of worrying about them evaporate, ipso facto. You see, I control my own fate! This is called New Age (or “Republican” or “magical”) thinking. It’s gonna work. Count on it.
So everything hinges on my becoming a successful writer. Very quickly. That may seem like an audacious goal, but thanks to Jeff Vandermeer’s “Booklife”, which I received as a Christmas present from Dear Wife (& to Booklife-related blog & web sites), I now have a plan by which to acheive such success as a writer (and person). See below for details. (You really should continue reading, by the way, since the more you read the closer you become to me, and thus more exigible for expiation of all your problems. As in tales of supplicants whose wishes were granted by touching Jesus’s robe. Not that I’m claiming divinity; just say’n.1)
Step One: Write Kick-ass Novel “Creation Science”
My first step on my road to success will be to finish writing Creation Science, that novel so lavishly funded by my devoted devotees courtesy of Kickstarter.com. I’ll do a limited-edition print-run to satisfy my obligations to my Kickstarter patrons, then sell the rights to the book to Random House for half a million dollars or so. Then the movie rights will go for two million bucks, with $2.5 million in hand I’ll already be nearly to positive-net-worthville. We can expect that to happen sometime in the March-April timeframe.
Step two: Win Amazon “Breathrough Novel” award
Immediately after securing the big bucks book & movie contracts for Creation Science (and dealing with attendant “buzz”), I’ll be winning the Amazon.com “Breakthrough Novel Award”. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be winning it for Acts of the Apostles, Cheap Complex Devices or The Pains, but since I have until January 25th to decide which book to enter in the contest, I still have plenty of time to decide. The advance that comes with this award is only $15,000, but the book contract with Penguin could prove lucrative in the long run. But mainly, the publicity that will attend my winning this award so soon after securing the mega-deal for Creation Science will create a nearly instantaneous Julie Powell perfect storm of publisher interest, with agents, editors, TV show producers and “Internet Peronsalities” ringing my phone off the hook. A bidding war for the reprint rights to my earlier books will erupt. (Expect Knopf to win; just a hunch.)
So, by June or so I will have taken perhaps six million dollars or so, and will have paid off virtually all of my debts.
(Note to self: remember to pay phone bill.)
Step Three: Win Writer’s Digest “Self-Published Book Award” (again)
In 2000 I won the Writer’s Digest National Self-Published Book Award for my novel Acts of the Apostles (sorry, the link to my actual award page is dead. Sic transit Glory Days). It cost $100 to enter that contest and the prize money was $500. So, not a bad investment payout, but still, a net of $400 is not a lot of money neither. Nor can I say that winning the award did much for my sales; I certainly never noticed much of a bump. But it did get me a few opportunities to write articles for Writer’s Digest for which I was paid about $75, and, plus, it provided psychic validation, which I really needed at the time.
These days my confidence is such that I no longer need that kind of external validation. I’m what you might call self-actualized.
Now then, you might think that having already won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and gotten the big contracts for Creation Science that I wouldn’t bother with the piddling little Writer’s Digest award. But by accepting this award I’ll maintain and perhaps even enhance my status with the little people out there, who, Lord knows, need all the encouragement and role-modeling they can get. So it seems only decent that I should do this for their benefit, if not for my own.
Step three: Social Network Myself Out the Yin-Yang
As Roland the Robot’s book “expert” points out, social media is where it’s at in your Booklife future. Get a blog. Get a twitter thing. Network and start a conversation with your readers. It’s easy, as my friend Blue Gal explains here: Simply come up with something interesting to say every day, and say it on your blog. Then tweet it! Make your blog followers Twitter followers, and vicee-versee, and don’t forget Facebook! Soon you’ll be like Brit Hume or Tiger Woods, with hundreds of thousands, or more, twitter followers. And in my case thousands and thousands of these readers will buy by books in whatever codex or format. Instant money! Are you starting to see the pattern?
Before long, of course, the requests for me appear as a guest on TV and radio shows will become absurd. In order to maintain some vestage of normalcy in my life, I’ll probably restrict myself to the Colbert Report (for publicity value) and NPR/PBS ( Charlie Rose, Diane Rheem, Terri Gross, et al) so that my parents and brothers and sisters can see or hear me. (They are in that class of people who don’t believe a book exists unless its author has appeared on one of those shows.) Colbert will probably want to steer the conversation to my masterful semiotic deconstruction of his “Hindenburg” performance, but I’ll gently redirect him and stay “on message.”
Step Four: Wetmachine becomes the new Boing-Boing
Oh nevermind. This silly conceit was tired before it started.
Happy New Year everybody, and stay tuned, as Harold says. A major facelift for Wetmachine is in the works, and that’s fer true.
1) As part of my research for Creation Science, I’ve been listening to Jesus radio stations a bit lately. I hate those Gospel stories where Jesus takes pity on somebody and fixes their problem because they have “faith” in him. I heard a sermon last week about a story in Mark where Jesus casts out the demon in some woman’s daughter because she comes back with a witty self-deprecating remark after Jesus tells her to buzz off because she ain’t no Jew. (See the above link, which has the standard explanation which was more or less recapitulated in the radio sermon.) What is this, a game show? Make Jesus smile and he’ll fix your kid, otherwise too bad for you? That’s hateful, I must say. There are lots of little girls out there with “unclean spirits” even today. Why doesn’t Jesus fix them all? I don’t get it.