Wednesday, January 27, 2010

World Famous Writer (or Poet)

At least once a day I receive an email with the subject line, “Do you have a story to tell?”

“Yes,” I think. “Yes I do have a story to tell.” Then I delete the email, along with those offering free motorized wheelchairs, amorous liaisons, and vacations in Cincinnati and Niagara Falls.

This morning I decided to open the “story” email, just to see if there was something I should do about having a story to tell. Other than what I do every day, I mean.

Am I ever glad I did! Because here’s what I found: an offer to learn how to be a world famous writer or poet. But wait, there’s more! With a simple click, I would learn how to be an author and get published—which I always thought was the first step in becoming a world famous writer or poet, though based on the design of the email it is apparently secondary. .

I’ve been wondering how to go about doing this. So I clicked. Turns out one becomes a world famous writer or poet by self-publishing. One learns how to be an author and get published by paying for book packaging services.

What a wondrous thing to consider. Instead of writing and revising in hopes of creating a piece of work that might inspire an agent to take me as a client, instead of that same piece of work being deemed worthy of publication by a publisher, instead of the resulting book finding an audience through the usual channels, it turns out that the path to success as a writer (or poet) is actually straight and relatively flat. If I just play my cards right, I could be as lucky as Fede Alvarez, who parlayed his $300 YouTube video into a $30 million Hollywood movie deal.

The truth is, however, that either way I have to finish the memoir. So I guess I’ll go back to work now.