Friday, May 25, 2012

DFWCON 3: The Alliance

You know, I can distinctly remember reading about film and TV writers being forced to work through committee and even sometimes getting kicked off of their own projects, and thinking, "Man, I'm so glad I'm only doing books - everything belongs to me and I can do it all by myself."

Isn't ignorance adorable?  It's like looking at embarrassing naked baby pictures of your brain.

I mean, I always knew that there were agents and publishers and marketing gurus, all of whom you have to play ball with if you want to see your hardback on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, but I thought that the actual writing, the content of the book, was all me.  And a conference is cake by comparison, right?

So you might be able to imagine my slowly-mushrooming surprise as I realized that I'd had help from a veritable Justice League of awesome people *just to go to writer-prom*.  The list of superheroes included:

Ensemble, whose supernatural powers of wardrobe selection transformed me into a decent-looking human being

Photo-Finish, who wields business cards like shuriken and designs them too

Frankly Speaking and the Betazoids, who tirelessly heard, read, and critiqued not only my proto-pitch (often multiple times), but the manuscript from whence it came

and the Light of My Life, who heroically held the fort at home all weekend so that I could go off gallivanting.

And it was magical, marvelous, fantastic and enlightening, but having all those people behind me for this new and decidedly extroverted experience kinda made me realize how much I've already been relying on them for the long slog leading up to it: somebody to read my stuff and give me deep feedback on it, somebody to harass me about when the next chapter will be done, somebody who lets me harass *them* about arcane research questions, somebody who helped me through life and school and unemployment so that I could stay fixated on the dream.  Someday I aim to be somebody, but I would be NOBODY without my posse.

So the third and final Great Revelation from this weekend is this: if you're doing it all by yourself, you're probably doing it wrong.

Completely bulletproof - and machine washable, darling. That's a new feature.


  1. I can so relate to this post. I've always been a loner. Not so much a rebel, but definitely a loner.

  2. Well, we are a nation that idolizes bootstrapping, you know? It's easy to grow up thinking that you're supposed to be a rugged pioneer - asking people for help is not a thing we celebrate. (But the proof is right there in the graduation photo you posted a few days back - other people are an essential ingredient for success!)