All Things Revisited

Ahoy! Well, I’ve done it. I’ve moved back into WordPress after a stint at the other one. I prefer this one after all. But it’s more than that. Let me tell you why.

Because 2021, that’s why. It’s time for a reboot. Of everything. We’ve changed the way we work. We’ve made many blessed changes in attitudes around gender and race (not that everything’s cured!). Post-pandemic, in the tumultuous wake of this and so much more, what it means to be a writer has changed. Irrevocably.

I’d say “all bets are off,” but that’s a you-know-what.

So I’m changing my methods, such as they laughably have been. I’m going fully regressive in terms of promotion of my writing and teaching services, by going back to the blog format. But I’m going to do it in a way that I never really did before, which is to address my website audience very candidly and directly, as I’m doing now.

Full disclosure—and this could be the two-word phrase that we here at AWS may have printed on stickers and coffee mugs—I have been, in the past, too caught up in anxiety about my presentation of myself as a product, commodity, and online presence, to really offer people a coherent message about how to work with me. I still have that anxiety, but now I’m taking my cues and inspiration from Naomi Osaka and trying to get OK with being not OK and let my followers in on that, and hopefully feel more comfortable posting and sharing about who I am and what I do.

The fun part I think is that the traumas of 2020 and the massive cultural tumult that is afoot, can really inform creative work, and in the literary arts that can mean letting go of all our old beliefs about how we have to write, create, and be. I just think we have to do a reset, and I can’t wait to get into sharing my humble thoughts on where fiction itself might be headed and all that.

So I’m excited!

Here’s what you can expect. It goes without saying that the site design will ever-changing. But I aim to keep it basic, and also offer a new shopping cart for editorial services. Hopefully I’ll be able to integrate it with a calendar and make it easier than ever for my novelist clients to plan delivery of their manuscripts.

And then on top of that, I may or may not bring over some of the inspirational/instructional writings I’ve done over the past years. Some of it surely is better left behind.

I hope to share anecdotes and stories about my experience in the writing business, and in my career as a professional editor, as I have done with my workshop students since 2009. Part of my aim here is to bridge the gap between writers who have taken a workshop course with me and gone on to work independently with me at the development a project, and writers getting to know me through LinkedIn or word of mouth, for example.

What a blessing it would be if I could let go of my fleeting perfectionist drives to self-produce really appealing videos that plug AWS. Yes, I’m referring to one goofy fake commercial and one Skillshare course. Hopefully with this blog, people who like to read will happily do so here. This could work out well because people who like to read are precisely the types of people I’d like to work with!

I’m starting to look like a regular genius.

So that’s where I’m at today. Thanks for being part of it.

More full disclosure. I have always found it to be very tough to do paid editorial work by day (as they say), teach (sometimes by night), and then write self-promotional pieces on the side and spend time pitching them with all kinds of SEO shit attached. I mean, I have published essays in the past. (See my LinkTree). But to do so in this age seems absurd. Maybe you think that says more about me, how hard I’m willing to work, or the size of my “company” or some macho careerist bullshit like that, and if you do, great, my Christian brother would tell you he loves you. But the kind of entrepreneurial grinding that this requires had definitely been proven unhealthy, so it’s not happening for me, and the reality is, I do think that in the great norm-toppling of the 2020s, we see all kinds of marketing copy and headlines that have abandoned tropes. So let’s drop the pretenses about how writing instruction is typically plugged, and not pretend that I have all the secrets.

(At the same time, in a lagging footnote, part of what you’re seeing with meta-wise ad copy is nothing but a battle by companies to be the most clever and win your affection-dollars. Let’s not forget that.)

I’m listening to Spotify as I write this, and a song just played, in which the instrumentation is: a piano and men speaking as if talking to voicemail boxes of dear friends. That’s breaking a mold right there, which is what I’m talking about. The pace of media has been such for a while that to really stand out, you can’t spout announcements about being really exited and expect to be taken seriously. Yes, I did say above I’m excited. But as you can see, I’m excited about laying bare these struggles and contradictions. Hopefully, we can get to a place where it sets us artistically free.

That’s about the amount of time I’d spend in a typical journal entry. It’s been more fun spouting off to you than to myself. So thanks for listening.