Fools run rings to break up something they’ll never destroy

Today is one of those days where, for the most part, only other moms really understand what I’m going through. My youngest woke up at 3am, very sick with some sort of a tummy bug.  My husband looked at her, then rolled over, covered up his head and went back to sleep. I got up. I’ve been doing laundry ever since…so coffee is extra important today. Why does stomach flu or food poisoning hit in the middle of the night?? So not only am I fighting a bit of jet lag (as is my entire household), we’ve got some flu thing going on too. Yay!

I’m pretty sure Amanda mentioned at some point in the last two weeks that we’ve finally completed the first draft of our manuscript. Maybe I mentioned it as well – I’m so far behind at this point that I can’t remember! I’m pretty proud of our progress and I won’t lie, there were moments when I wondered if we would ever really finish the manuscript. It’s so easy to say you’re going to write a book – Simon even says something like that in the song Networker Nation, and he was so right. It is EASY to say you’re going to write a book, and it is even pretty easy to start writing, but somewhere around chapter four, you lose momentum. Life stops you from writing, and before you know it – two weeks or two months has gone by without a single written word. For me personally, that is when it seemed easiest to give up, but we didn’t. Amanda and I plowed ahead, knowing that sometimes, the book had to be put aside, only to be picked up again a bit later. Sure, it took us longer than I would have liked to finish (and keep in mind we’ve only finished and edited the first draft), but in words that I would swear I’ve heard out of the mouths of members of our favorite band here….I think that in taking the extra time, it gave us a chance to produce a much better end product. Someone slap me because I think I’m channeling Nick Rhodes right now…

What do I mean by that? Here’s the funny thing: I’ve been a fan for over thirty years now, as have most of you, I’d imagine. When we first started writing, I know I saw our fandom a little differently than I do now. Part of that is due to prejudice in writing, another part is seeing things in a different perspective, and still more is due to having the opportunity to travel a bit more, delve a bit further into the community aspect, and take the angle of a social scientist rather than fan. By no means am I calling myself an expert on fandom, or claiming that my objectivity remained intact, unclouded and unbiased. However, I am saying that over time, Amanda and I became much better equipped and able to see some of the trends we set out to discuss in our book. That alone makes the project a success in our eyes.

When I left for vacation, I was very conflicted. As Amanda knows, there was a part of me that was ready to quit blogging. A rather large part, actually. I love the writing, make no mistake of that. I look forward to organizing my thoughts each day, and this is truly how I begin each day. I would probably be lost without the blog now. However, there is a downside to pouring thoughts out onto a screen each day. I don’t need to go over it here because I think any of our readers can probably see some of the downside on an occasional basis. No matter, I felt a very heavy weight on my shoulders when I left, and I was thankful for the break so that I could sort through what I wanted for my future.

The reality is, I am not cut out to work with fans…with people…on a daily basis the way that some might believe is my ambition. My goal is not to become Katy Krassner, or work for the band. Get that out of your heads right now…because if I did work for the band like Katy, I am sure that I would upset people on a daily basis – without apology. That’s something that I’ve come to see over the course of being a fan, and is something I’m not ashamed to admit. I’m a writer. I like writing, and I like the discussion and thought process that goes along with that, that much is certain.

At one point not so long ago, Amanda and I were trying to find a way to expand what we do here into a full-time, paying career. We weren’t looking to exploit the band, we were looking at how to make our work in fandom into something that could grow. What I missed in that thought process though, was that we were already doing exactly what we needed to be doing. We were writing. I guess my feeling is that if we keep writing, eventually that in and of itself will turn into a career, whether I’m writing a book, speaking on a panel or doing research for our next books. The rest of it seems to take care of itself – and that’s something I have to learn. It’s only when I attempt to force myself in one direction or another that I’m unhappy, and I have to be willing to let nature take its course. Not everyone will agree with 100% of everything Amanda and I will try to do here, and there will be those who want to remind us of where they feel we belong on the social “totem pole” of fandom. I simply refuse to allow someone else decide my destiny purely because they don’t like what I have to say on any one particular day. For the gang of five or ten that don’t like what we’re saying – there are hundreds out there that feel otherwise. As a really wicked guitar player once said, “I’m not fucking going anywhere”.

So what point are we at now with our book? Well, in true Daily Duranie fashion – Amanda and I kind of did this all backwards. Rather than starting with an idea and trying to sell the idea to a publishing company, we wrote the book first. I’d love to be able to say that I thought that all out, and my reasoning was at the time that no matter what – we’re publishing this book, so even if a publisher doesn’t want it, we’ll do it ourselves. The less flattering truth is that we started writing because it was what I knew to begin doing, and as we wrote we researched just how to get a book published. It was only then that we saw we could have written a book proposal first, and by then – Amanda and I felt the real goal was just to finish the darn first draft. So we did. Truth be told, if we can’t find a publisher for the book we’ll absolutely do it ourselves – many authors do that these days and we feel the project is strong enough to put the time and effort behind it, but right now – we’re going back and creating the book proposal to sell this book. That means really going back to our research, seeing where our book is unique from every other book out there (that’s the easy part), and being able to convey those points. So, just when we think we’re finished with the writing – we’ve only just begun. Welcome to being an author!

In closing I’d just like to add that I really appreciate those of you – friends, people I don’t know or haven’t met personally yet, and even those anonymous commenters out there (you obviously know who you are, whether you’re friend, foe, or interested observer) that have taken the time out of their day to send a note to boost my spirits when they’ve clearly been down. I’ve never made light of the fact that I’m learning as I go. I really admire the journalists and bloggers out there that never seem to bother reading their comments, much less respond back to them – I can’t really do that. I like reading what others are thinking, even when sometimes the words really bite, and I would hate to stop responding and stop seeming to  have emotions about a subject that I hold so dear. So, I’m sure that from time to time I’ll have to remind myself to take a step back and see the big picture, but I need to convey my thanks to those who stick with us on the journey.

-R

4 thoughts on “Fools run rings to break up something they’ll never destroy”

  1. You ladies rock! Perseverance that I am jealous of! Good luck and I hope you are enjoying the process for the most part, which it seems you are.
    🙂
    Michelle Browner

  2. @EasternViolet here

    I'm so glad that some time and space away from writing gave you this perspective. While I would have respected your decision to stop… can I say that I glad that you came to another conclusion? All writers, publishing in whatever the medium, have to develop a thick skin when it comes to the noisy negativists. 😀 And there is another tour on the horizon!

    I wish you and Amanda nothing but luck and success with regard to your book. I hope you continue to document your journey and promote it here.

    This is the one place that I can rely on to frequent as a fan that also speaks to my intellectual side. And I mean that. Always talking about the hotness of band members gets old. At the DailyDuranie, a fan can use her brain too, think about our identity–very important to this fan! (mind you I like to be silly and such, but not all the time)

    So Thank-YOU for redefining what a fan blog can look like, and what it can do for other fans. A certain group of fabulous musicians is very lucky to have you guys and your dedication.

    Here's to more blog posts!! ]]raises a glass[[
    (And hope your little one is feeling better and you escape unscathed)

    ~H

  3. I think that Amanda and I just needed to really give thought to what each of us wants and needs. We want the blog to be fun. That's how it started, and that's how we wish to keep it going. Now, fun for us does not mean constantly discussing John's hair, or how we might feel like we're melting into a pile of goo on the floor when the band comes on stage and stares us down…..but we do add that in on occasion. 😀 We laugh a lot around here, or at least we did – and we'll still continue to do that. We miss those times! We miss planning for the next tour too…did I mention that???

    Most importantly, and something I really didn't touch one enough in the blog: I love the band. I do. I don't know if they are lucky to have US or we're lucky to have THEM…(probably the latter!), but I'm glad my path crossed with theirs, even though they really have no idea who I am. LOL 😀 -R

  4. And thank you for your the thoughts on my youngest. She's starting to feel better, and I'm washing my hands, the walls…the floors…with vigor. I very much dislike stomach flu! UGH. -R

We (Amanda and Rhonda) appreciate discussion and differences of opinion. We respectfully ask that you fully read the blog before bitching us out. If you're only here to take us down a notch, note that we moderate replies (meaning we're not printing rude comments). Thanks a bunch!

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