The way out seems fairly simple.
You'd done it before.
Stuck in blogland while real writers around you are digging huge furrows in real work printed in real publications, some worldwide.
Well, how did you do it last time?
Every aristocrat (and face it, we writers are all little elitists) has to face danger, some life-threatenimg situation, be it destroying your support system just to see what will happen or to compete on the backs of large dangerous animals to win some dumb prize, the pursuit of which may leave you maimed and maybe even crippled. Or stupid Fear Factor, or my favourites, American Idol and Canadian Idol.
For all of our scientific advances, it's still Swords and Sorcery, the quest, the Golden Grail.
You have failed because you chose to blog and not to flog.
A stupid cartoon comes to mind. It is a slightly ruffled chicken, whose talk balloon asks, "Do people get laid?"
And the answer comes, "No, people are chicken."
So I for one, need to get "laid."
How do you go about getting laid?
Well, like any incestuous cad, I used to be something of a success at writing and hardly needed to announce in my column that the scribbler was riddled with mental blocks, family anxieties, creeping impotence and bankruptcy--and really needed to get laid. There would be volunteers. That's what it was like to have artistic power, back in the days when you were young and a superstar.
It was also being a rat with women.
"You expect people to be nice to you when you are not nice to them at all."
I used to walk the halls of academe to see how the upwardly mobile young turks would handle women teachers.
"Kiss my ass."
"But I already have."
And I along with him, probably. Egomaniac teacher. Manipulating students. Drug habit. &%#ing prick.
Ah, but one day it all comes back on you. Some smart redhead who finally gets some scissors and does a real Samson number on you. "I have discovered the secret of your strength."
Well. Now you have to pay for all those superioritities. You have been rejected once again by a publication that you not only respect, but one that could restore your superstar status.
Nice work if you can get it.
It can be gotten through journalism, high -end journalism, the slick magazines. Also theatre, though you had to have known something about theatre from an early age.
But the distance between two points is not a straight line.
Writing is a little like trying to win a woman who doesn't want you, the "bitch" who will screw for anybody else but you, that's why you call it, her, a bitch. Norman Mailer: The novel is The Great Bitch.
So what do you do when you are really out of the loop, no longer in? And not making any headway at all with The Great Bitch?
For god's sake,don't go to the stories of sports heroes, the low-batting average slugger, who through sheer determination and character, finally drives one out of the park.
Doesn't happen that way. My old hero Dave Carter
used to drive one out of the park fairly routinely. And tomorrow, he would do it again. And again Wednesday.
So it's not the shy hero, Archibald Arbuthnott, the stuttering guy with the incongruous last name, who finally gets the gumption up to play Cricket and beat everybody-- oh, lord, no! You can have all the determination in the world, all the literature and fail miserably, because the hero's life is not the way they tell you it is. There is the way people actually work, and then, with Einstein, there is "literarute", or bullshit.
Still, you are in a gumption trap, a box. A writer who is not publishing, not really publising.
The best way is to plan for failure, to have a system, and if one thing doesn't work, you go to plan for Plan B, or C, or D, and almost infinitum. Even a loser sometimes wins.
The problem right now is that you have chosen "creativity" over using your brains. You have been thinking outside the box so long that it has become a Pandora's box and you can't get the genie back in.
You had a possible four-thosand dollar grant from a major university and you fucked up the forms.
PhD's don't fuck up. You did.
So you compensate by "creative expression."
You thinking has to become practical.
The goal is slick magazine serialization of your novel, leading to hardcover publication an old goal; things aren't done that way any more, but it is nevertheless the goal.
So how are you going to do it?
Get the hell out of blogging for a while.
Bring it all home.
On yellow pads.
Or on that old Remington electric,where you can produce real copy and not the filigree of electronic stuff like this.
Then you'll start writin', and not "typin'", as Truman Capote might have said.
And out of five drafts, you may be able to rescue one.
And that might be enough.
Dollar-thirty-five for the stamp.
And if rejected, turn the whole thing into a TV scpript or a play, better the play.
Your local theatre group is starving for material. The market is right in front of you.
You were just too busy blogging to notice.
...........And after all that piss and vinegar, Happy Fourth of July weekend to our American friends.
What I've set down above may give the impression of a guy being bummed out, but I have never been bummed out by an American, one-on-one.
It was Americans who offered me a scholarship for my first book.
Hope you're out there, Tom Mayer and may your "Bubblegum and Kipling" keep ballooning.