Sunday, March 13, 2016

WRITER BLOCKED

I have a dream. As I slog away with various in-progress manuscripts, I am discovered the easy way. Query-free! A reader retweets or shares a link to one of my blog posts and this gets passed on to a friend who has a cousin with a neighbor whose uncle’s new boyfriend is an agent or editor or publisher who is looking for just the kind of writer that writes my kind of blog.

No, not my kind of blog. MY blog.

Yes, through blogging and social media, I become recognized as a veritable writer. Three-book deal for starters. The advance is enough to let me take a sabbatical to write full-time. Movie rights are still being negotiated. These things get tricky. It’s hard to align Clooney’s and Spielberg’s schedules. If not Clooney, Affleck wants in. (I’d be happy to share a screenwriting credit with Ben as long as we share some time in the writers’ room. I promise not to sing this song about us.) Affleck is pushing to star and direct. And, let’s face, I’ve always been Team Ben, even during that JLo/”Gigli” period. So sorry, Steven. There will be more movies based on my writing. They’re talking about adapting some scribble of mine on a napkin from a Lebanese restaurant, summer 2014. Apparently it’s sounding more promising than studio reboots of “The Shaggy D.A.” and “BJ and the Bear”. Hurrah!

My dreams always get a bit weird. Let’s strip it down. Call it a prayer or a dream, it goes like this: Let my blog lead to an agent, an online paid position, a book. Let this passion for writing be worth something. Even without Ben Affleck, it’s an amazing dream.

There you have it. Let me be a full-fledged, full-time writer. So you can imagine my alarm when I discovered this week that an LGBTQ publisher, Dreamspinner Press, blocked me on Twitter. Me? Blocked?!

Has the dream been dashed by Dreamspinner? Maybe I can spin this Dreamspinner slight another way. Is this simply an inevitable narrowing of the field? Every publisher has its regrets. Friday afternoons when the shredder went into overdrive to clear the slush pile. The next J.K. Rowling or David Sedaris. Me!

But, while I’ve got Dreamspinner on my list of LGBTQ publishers, I don’t think I’ve submitted anything to them. I’m terrible about submitting. (Hence, this dream about being discovered through the blog.)

Did my blog offend? (Maybe it was this post or this one.)

Did I tweet something horrendous?

Maybe it was this photo:

 

Or this:

 

Oh, the shame! Perhaps I should follow Shia LaBeouf’s example:
 


Blocked. Ack!

Did someone hijack my account and then tweet my followers with one of those Spammy, virus-laden “Someone is saying nasty things about you” messages? Trust me, tweeps, I don’t spread hate. I’m too busy snapping pics of colon-friendly cookies.

Whatever I’ve done, dear Dreamspinner, I’m sorry. I’m a nice guy. And maybe, just maybe, I can write.

I shall shake off this publishing setback. Blog on! Schlep through the momentarily meandering middle section of my latest manuscript. Revise away on that young adult project I set aside two years ago. And, yes, I may have to carve out some time to punch up my query letter and research agents and editors and other publishers. That last category is suddenly minus one.

But I shall dream on as well. Maybe one of my blog readers—a particularly charming, intelligent and benevolent reader, of course—will begin that hypothetically fortuitous chain of retweets and shares of this blog, catching the attention of an eager and amazed (and astute?) editor/agent/publisher who decides I am the Must Client. Maybe my perceptive reader’s initial share will lead to one of those publishing wars that jacks six-figure deals up to seven. Maybe Affleck really wants to meet in person to discuss co-writing the screenplay adaptation. (He and Matt Damon had a tiff over, I don’t know, the other’s failure to take a stand against some egregious comment from Ricky Gervais or Judd Apatow or Donald Trump that tangentially related to one of them. They’ll eventually make amends, of course, but this is my window of opportunity.) Affleck and me. Together. For the sake of a golden writing opportunity. At least, that’s how it starts.

Hey, it’s possible. This is my dream, after all.

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