Monday, March 18, 2013

Writing and Editing in a Virtual World

Insanity:  Doing things the same way over and over and expecting different results.

Writing insanity:  Trying new things and sharing them with the world before you know how to do them.

March Madness continues.  I went to work yesterday as Clark Kent, wearing a green dress shirt and a badge that says, "Luck of the Irish."  My mind kept wandering back to the bat cave.  I had no idea how the release of my first chapter was going because cell phones are not allowed at my day job while I'm on the clock.

I hustled back to my car at the end of my shift and jumped for joy when I saw the visitor count.  It was already over three hundred for the day -- a new record.  It's a good thing for my ego that I come from a large family.  They probably had a lot to do with the outcome.  Maybe I got a little lucky.  Could it be that dad whispered something into St. Peter's ear while they were gathered for green beer at the Heavenly Watering Hole yesterday?  Dad always favored the underdogs.  In the writing world, I often find myself in need of a prayer.

This book project is turning into a virtual experiment.  I never heard of a writer releasing his work one chapter at a time before he finished the entire book.  My dad would label this kind of violation of protocol as playing it by ear.  I'm composing without any sheet music.

Most writers, 99.9% of them, follow a template:  write the book, edit the book, rewrite the book, edit the book again, then publish the book.  Here's my strategy:

  1. Promote the book for two years before it is written.
  2. Write 1,300 blog stories to practice the art of writing.
  3. Invite the industry's brightest writers and editors to my blog built for writers and editors.
  4. Invite all my friends to become blog followers.
  5. Set up a countdown timer on my blogs to let people know when the book will be released.
  6. About six months before the release date, start writing the book.
  7. When the countdown timer hits zero, release the first chapter without any editing.
  8. Release one new chapter every Friday until the whole book is visible -- for free.
  9. When the feedback comes in from all the smart people, correct any errors or flaws they point out.
  10. Put a cover on the book once all the chapters are released and offer the e-book on the blog for .99 cents to anyone who wants a copy.  
Some of the professionals who are reading this may say I'm crazy.  Others may say I'm lucky.  The people who know me best will tell you I'm both crazy and lucky.  Blame it on the man sitting next to St. Peter arguing that St. Patrick's Day is not a day -- it's a month.  Yes, the March Madness continues.  And so does the luck.  Happy St. Patrick's Month!  Remember to come back on Friday for chapter two.

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