You've probably noticed an uptick in Son posts of late, and there's a reason for that: I'm writing to keep from going crazy. I'm writing passages, blurbs and bits that'll never be seen, scratched out, erased or simply put away in file, folder, stacks of papers. I also have several Son posts in an offline queue, awaiting final revisions, while I take extensive notes of the daily insanity and plan, with the purest intentions, to flesh them out into some kind of readable shape. And on and on it goes. I'm clearly in the midst of a writing surge, which makes me happy and drives me nuts. Puttering and muttering is my present waking state.
The only problem is, I make nothing doing this. Oh, I've had some bites and interest over the past few months, but in the end, zilch. I've been dicked around since November by a large site with a wide audience, a site that many of you probably read on a regular basis, but the name of which I've been advised to keep anonymous, for you never know when they'll decide to get serious. Still, the dangling of a plum assignment just above my head is maddening, as was a reviewing gig with a prominent paper that was there, then suddenly wasn't. Plus, I was told by someone in the know that another site I've submitted material to will never publish me because of my hostility to the Dems. I've been informed more than once that while my writing is elegant, my opinions are shit. Apparently, I can construct a decent sentence, but it's mere tinsel atop rotting crap. There's something to be said for aesthetic victories, I suppose.
Bottom line, I cannot get paid for my writing, and must continue to perform custodial labor to help make ends meet (and even that's becoming shaky). There are worse fates, I know, but this reality is starting to wear me down. Yet, I refuse to fold, and will continue with the Son, though I will make some changes. After talking with Jon Schwarz, one of the Son's best friends who is distressed about the state of contemporary satire (primarily on SNL), I plan to write more satirical content, though what shape it will take I'm still working out. The plan is to distribute jokes and fake news items throughout bloggyland and see what kind of traction they get. Also, there will be more cultural writing, with some interviews mixed in. A Video Son project is in the works. Of course, the Son will continue to comment on the political scene and the expanding war, but that will no longer be my main focus. There are others who work this beat better than me, like Jon, Chris Floyd, Max Sawicky and crew, Steven Poole, and Arthur Silber; Louis Proyect tackles both socialist theory and movie reviews; and Lindsay Beyerstein of Majikthise is emerging as one of the sharper libloggers, and has cracked the all-male team at Tom Tomorrow (who graciously allows Jon to push my stuff there). Billmon remains AWOL, but few can really match his pace, depth and output, apparently, not even Billmon himself. How he functions with all those insights and no public venue to express them is a mystery to me. I'd end up shouting on street corners.
I'm also in the process of collecting my better posts, rewriting, updating and shaping them into a manuscript. Whether or not I can sell a Red State Son book I have no idea, but if worse comes to worse, I'll self publish and hawk it myself. I'm really proud of some of the work I've done here, and want to preserve it between actual covers before the entire system shuts down, and every computer screen goes blank. I don't know if that's actually going to happen, but it's best to prepare for the worst.
So I'm sticking around, but Sonsters, I must hit you up hopefully one last time. I sincerely don't want to rattle my rusty cup, but I have no choice if I am to continue. I'm simply up against it. I have other professional plans for the Spring, but right now I'm in a rough patch. I know I have a lot of new readers, so if you or anyone else enjoys my work or gets anything out of these tortured posts, your help would be humbly and deeply appreciated. Remember, I do all this myself -- no writing teams, no guest bloggers, no extensive news quotes followed by a brief original sentence or two. You all know the score, and the PayPal button is there if you choose to assist this effort. Also, serious offers of writing work, including joke writing, would be great.
Okay. Let me get off my knees and back to work. The surge continues.