4.21.2011

Yet More Fucking VIdeo I've Been Made To Keep

A few weeks ago, Merrill Hagan complimented me on this video I made while training for the Arena Football League and kept me from deleting it:


What's really fantastic about digging through all this old video stuff and then being told not to delete it is that it's making this week's blogposts really, really easy. All I have to do is embed these stupid things and then talk about how self-conscious I really am about them -- despite the fact that I actually recorded myself, edited the recordings and made them public.

And the reason I can go through the exercise of making mini-movies starring me and still be self-conscious about them is that at the time, the people viewing them were a much smaller subset of my audience. The Penguin video was only seen by the people who contributed and a few other Mentally Incontinent forum members (Remember when forums were really cool and the only way for communities to talk to each other? Before Facebook? Yeah, those were the days, get off my lawn, etc).

And I'm very close with my readership -- or at least, I really do try to be. I regard your reading me as the ultimate compliment. I want to thank you whenever I get the chance. When people comment or email or friend me on Facebook or whatever, I try to get to know them insofar as they're interested. Cause that's the fun part of this for me.

And so as this blog and my books have spread around, and I've lost the handle I once had on knowing just about every reader I had (even in the thousands, it wasn't that hard -- the MI Forums and email work really well for that), I start to realize I'm much more widely read than I can actually keep tabs on outside of pure traffic log numbers.

And so, when I post this crap, I realize it's being watched by people who are newish to what I do and how I do it, and see these videos and go "Okay, what?"

What you have to understand is that everything I do -- ALL of it -- is community driven. When I decided to play pro football, there were lots of discussions with my community about it. Why I wanted to do it, how I was going to go about it, and then after that, I split it off to its own site and let those interested follow that particular little activity over there.

Same with Art of Akira and everything else. And I have to say, it feels very strange now to not be able to actually hold on to each individual community and get to know them and interact with them. Sure, Facebook and this blog and email are still active. There's still a lot of involvement. We all still get to talk.

But something I kinda figured would happen but never actually realized the implications of it happening with the Penguin published Mentally Incontinent book -- that book went out to strangers.

Total strangers. Strangers who picked the book up, read it, either liked it or hated it, and moved on.

That was new. It still is. When I look at the people on the Mentally Incontinent Facebook page, there's only a small subset that are also friends with me. That's weird.

Where am I going with this?

I don't know. Sometimes, you just drink from the firehose and hope to catch as much in your mouth as you can. But one thing I do know: From working on collecting and writing the next book (You forgot, didn't you? There's a new book coming. Soon. Like, REALLY soon), I've been analyzing the holy shit out of my writing, my career, and my methods. And I've decided I never, ever want to be "famous" (not that there's even a slight risk of that).

I like where I was with the first book. I know you. You know me. We talk. We build a thing together. You read what I write and either like or hate it. You tell me how and why. Neat things happen.

I want that. That is the golden ratio for me. And if my community shrinks with my self-publishing efforts and I sell 1/10th what I used to sell -- GOOD. I never did this for the money. Anyone who does is a fool -- not that there isn't a career to be had doing this, but starting off saying "I want to write to become rich" is a lot like saying "I want to solve world hunger by planting these pumpkin seeds."  Pretty goddam impractical, and all you're going to do is rob the fertile soil of the only thing of value, pretty fast.

But yeah, football video. Yay. That's up there ^^^ -- go watch it or something. Or don't.