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.