Literature Shall Prevail
Thousands of years of literature cannot be swept away by the tech Luddites who want to return us to painting on cave walls. No, we authors stand firm in our resolve and trust the craft to see us through these dark times.
Writers on Medium, listen up!
A few thoughts on our craft and what matters most.
In The Past
I used to try to write poems about winter light or birds in trees and other, tiny poetic things. In other words, I used to write what I’m sure were shitty poems about nothing; which this poem may be too, but in so many ways I miss those days when nothing bad enough had happened for me to write about.
I sit down, stare at the blank page or at the cursor blinking. I try hard not to think “I’m going to write a poem” Then stupidly, I try to write a poem. (This one). I stop, read a little from The Cloud of Unknowing. I feel more confused than ever; And think about Buk’s words, carved on his gravestone, “Don’t try”
In the bag
The poems will come or they won’t. If they come they’ll need to be bigger, better, than my older ones. Shit, that sounds like a bad idea right outta the gate, but sex, love, death-cheating, and typing about it here will have to do.
Publishing Pieces on a Few Medium Sites Only
And why you should too!
Mostly b/c I won’t wait very long at all to hear back when I submit. And I won’t audition that is, take a bunch of advice on how to make my shit better b/c if I didn’t already know it was good/done/just fine I wouldn’t a sent it in.
And finally, b/c I’m already a literary fuckin’ giant & genius, so there’s THAT...I know this sounds a tiny bit, (okay, more than a tiny bit, more like a lotta arrogant bragging,) but whata’ we gonna do?
Imagery of Self-Aggrandizing
Word and deed, image and imagining
For better than a decade I flew around the country (and even the world) being well compensated for having written a book beloved by a lot of people.
This came about because of talent (maybe), perseverance (off and on anyway), and LUCK (anyone who tells you luck plays no role in their success is either a liar or an idiot.)
Flying around a lot I got to take lots of pictures of clouds from above them.
When I first started posting writings online, like many others, I didn’t know quite what I was doing, and I’m still hardly an “expert.” But it’s such a cool thing and I eventually figured out a few of the tricks of the trade.
Posting cool pics is a glorious adventure in self-aggrandizement.
I’ve always loved photography. It’s always been as a close second to writing as a favored outlet for creative expression.
The arrival of the absurd clown Donald J. Trump with all his mad energy on the political/cultural scene in ‘Merica, aside from being a DAILY nightmare, added an enormous thread of memes and mocking, cruel, enraged images to my huge collection of pictures saved for future enjoyment.
So, during that mad political season, I was able to write anything I wanted to write and decorate my postings with outrageous images that sometimes even appeared to have something to do with the words I was writing.
Since Trumpism has died down a bit, I am now using pics I’ve taken myself or pics from fine arts photographers that they let me use.
Blending images with my writing, I lean a tiny bit (ok, totally) towards laziness and recalcitrance. I’m not very good at homework, never have been, and ain’t about to start now.
Soooo, for most postings that I submit, I’ll be using mostly pics from my own collection of selfies, and many decades of snapping pics and mapping the fabulous waste of time others might call, “My Life.”
For some stuff I post online I also use images lifted from Twitter and anyplace else I find them, and I’ll just wait to get in trouble.
I’m an anarchist and pro-Antifa. If and when I bump up against rules or regulations that make sense to me and/or are easy to follow, I do that happily. The rest of the time I do whatever the hell I feel like doing.
Curation Blues On Our Search for Love
Are poems/poets ever curated on Medium? Are they ever Uncurated?
A month or so back I got a message here on Medium, informing me that I was a “Top Writer in Poetry.” I even wrote about it in a published note, making a big deal of it, because it was, after all, about ME.
I’ve made some great friends here on Medium (I spoze, technically, they are virtual friends because I only know them by who they tell me they are and by my guesses about them thru reading their writings.) One of these friends whom I like a great deal because we’re both old men fixated on sex and more to the point for me anyway, sexual memories, bad and even occasionally good moments, from the glory days. He’s a bit younger than I am but still an old man in that biblical calculation of three score and ten (70 years) being a life long enough, (to phrase it Un-biblically) to fuckin’ die already get the fuck outta the way. This friend got curated and his Medium numbers jumped-up and he made some REAL money for a couple weeks until he got un-curated. Neither the curation nor its “UN” has ever been explained to him.
Which brings us to me (indeed ME, as everything I write eventually does) His earning-death at the hands of the curation gods got me to thinking about how many more readers I might reach if Medium curated poets and poetry. A final note; My friend writes to make $$. I write to be read. Sometimes these things go together. Often they do not. Most of my shit (poems) can be read, easily, in a minute or two most of his takes some time, so I’m never going to earn the kind of money he made while being curated or even is still making despite his apparent banishment from the Land of Magical Curation Miracles.
But writing to be read also would have benefits in Curation I think. I’ve heard that major NY publishers put out six-figure publicity and marketing campaigns even for books with small advances that end up making them millions (see image below) My guess is that curation, here on Medium is indeed the magical ingredient in both making $ and being read. It’d be nice to know whether those of us typing in short lines have any chance at all, but then again, whether I know or not, thanks to a skinny little book, I can afford to do what I’ve always done and simply write what I wanna write in the way I wanna write it and let the shits fall where they may.
Medium is NOT a Competition
Or at least it shouldn’t be.
Sometime back I wrote a poem about a harsh critic who had taken something I’d written and gone kind of crazy in her rage over it. I think the piece had some sexual content and likely a heavy dose of my patriarchal, sexist residue from a lifetime of chasing women and catching them to no one’s benefit.
So, yeah, I write about those golden days of old from time to time that have turned from nothing at all into ashes in my mouth (NOT an improvement). And I’ve always known and accepted that not everyone likes the same writings that others like, of course. But this particular incident pissed me off enough that I wrote about the incident.
There is a problem here on Medium that is difficult to focus on as most people seem nice but there is little readership and the readership you gain is often the worst or wrong kind.
Fame, Wealth, & Glory on Medium...Okay, Maybe Not so Much
We poets/writers are superstar celebs...and stuff...
Sorry to say but we mustn’t have any more pics of poets and authors staring pointedly into our faces with images of them standing or sitting, always dramatically, as if in some moment of temporary repose from their great feelings and thoughts, they are deigning to offer us a brief glimpse of their depth and significance.
This posting, by me here and now is not because I’m old I don’t look so hot in such pics any longer.
Nor because nobody is taking or wanting to take such photos of me…at least, I don’t think that is my primary motivation.
Okay, never mind…
Right profile please, that’s my good side.
And the worst of this? I’m jealous that I’m not included which makes me want to go all Bukowski/Don DeLillo/Thomas Pynchon on the world.
And thereby teach everybody how important I am!
And this would prove, of course, how consequently sublime my work must be.
New Rule: Unless and Until we start getting paid A LOT more, nobody gets to reject anything I send them
Of course, you may reject something, just don’t expect to ever see anything else from me.
Okay, in truth not even my ego is HUGE enough to follow thru on the ridiculous threat in this title.
And I have made some much-beloved friends in the editor ranks of Medium and as an editor here. The reason for the clickbait blast of a hysterical headline is that working with a friend trying to finish a draft for a piece for the NYT’s, I’ve been reminded of how thin the air is at the top of the $-making food chain in publishing, how careful top of the line editors must be and therefore how “perfect” the writer’s work must be (at least in their judgment) to pass muster and take up space in that rare air.
Medium is glorious because there’s a home for pretty much everyone here: dreamers and schemers, geniuses and idiots, all of us together taking our best shots.
Maybe the best conclusion for this is, hey writers, just because one editor at one Medium site doesn’t like something you’ve sent, finds it, “Not quite right for us” doesn’t mean shit. Send it elsewhere if you believe in it or post it on your own page and move forward.
And hey, some of you editors, lighten-the-fuck-up, most of us aren’t F.Scott or Hem or Buk but most of you aren’t Max Perkins or Ursula Nordstrom, Antonia Markiet, or Phoebe Yeh either.
My friends, the editors will understand
When I send a piece to a hosting site the editors have one hour to say: yay, nay, or we’ll get to you by etc. And they must say this to me personally, a message to me, personally. My shit is too good to lay around; I’ll send it elsewhere. This is how it must be for me I’m too old to fuck around and be fucked around with. And I’ve worked too hard for too long — And so have all you other Medium writers, Listen nobody ever “made it” by following all the rules, many of us only made it by breaking most of them. Yer fuckin’ welcome.
Of late, I’ve been struggling with selling out or staying pure.
Gold & cheap-tin alloy
As artists, most of our lives, you’ll grant are spent imagining we’re more important than we are, or at least wishing we were.
Of late, as my utterly useless “viewing” numbers climb, (earning me not a penny more —) I realize that I’ve always been a whore with no takers, a clarifying moment forever.
Gold and cheap-tin alloy together.
Kiss, cough, sneeze, and squeeze but no takers, and no thank-you’s, please.
How Many Strikes Does the Blind Home Plate Ump Give?
Back to the basics of our lives and typing
From a reader on Medium:
I read “I am not this old man,” (I AM NOT THIS Old Man — Just Weighing) which I thought was good. Why don’t our group of writers just go ahead and challenge “Medium” from within? Personally, I am always scared, when I try to do that. Because, after all, “they” could de-list me or make my stores suffer, etc. So, we writers could, Um — — “start something.” No irony there, Medium company! I mean: something GOOD!!!! Let us all talk openly about it — and see if “Medium” tries to come in at some point! Take them on. Or: have a conversation. Don’t try to directly talk to “Medium,” they would just ignore you. “Libraries need to carry more of your books because I only read “Inside Out,” since knowing you. But I think I read you earlier. I don’t know which, but that is my theory. There was a YA book I read once, and I thought there was something different and really fascinating going on. I just think that was you. ~Jack Silverman
Just for the record, I’m NOT suggesting that Jack actually said these things to me in a set of private messages, but IF HE HAD, it would have been saying and seeing exactly what I’m talking about the big problems here on Medium.
We may never know, in fact, I’m counting on it.
Rock n Roll Ain’t Dead, It’s Slowly Bleeding Out — Just Like Our Work on Medium
So find us elsewhere
For a time on Medium I was garnering a kazillion views a minute by riding the coattails of The Beatles and my favorite Rolling Stone, Keith. Indeed I wrote a terrific poem about the core of Keith’s life philosophy and wise counsel. But truthfully, Medium so fucks-up the possibilities of anybody finding anything you write after its first few days of being here, that no matter how brilliant you are — forget about it. And again leading us to shameless self-promotion, again and again.
This is why writers who care much at all about actually being read (much less making any money at it) need to find other ways to turn the wild west of today’s writing and publishing/posting into something that will work for us.
Still listening to Keith will always work, if not to make you an R&R legend, at least to amuse you!
Shameless self promotion ––> And when you’re done with Keith, check-out our newest book!! <–– Flagrant Advertising.
What does Medium and Unadulterated LAZINESS have in Common?
Not to worry, the answer’s right upfront
Math is hardly a strong suit for me. But as promised, let me answer the question posed in my title by jumping right to it (never bury yer lead): Posting/publishing on Medium, and sitting around on the couch lazily avoiding doing ANY-FUCKIN-THING share in common the virtue of...wait for it...no spoilers here...NEITHER ACTIVITY WILL DO VIRTUALLY ANYTHING TO ADVANCE YOUR HIGH HOPES AND LOW EXPECTATIONS OF EVER BEING READ MUCH LESS MAKING ANY $$ WRITING!!!
More math fun: Whether you multiply 969M (or billion for that matter) times 0, or nothing times 0 — it’ll always come out, zero — Math is fucked-up that way, see what I mean? No? that’s okay, me neither.
But I do know that after posting more than 1800 times on Medium and never making more than $100 in ANY month for the last 2 1/2 years, doing NOTHING AT ALL would have gotten me to the same place — a common denominator absent love, death, and agony (sorry, wasn’t sure what to slip in there, but one can hardly ever miss using Love, Death and/or Agony).
So, with such a shitty attitude, Why TF am I writing this here, now? Because my pard’ in crime Vincent V. Triola sent me this thing called a Terry Trueman Strategy for approaching online publishing in a new way.
BTW, you can skip the bit below unless yer compulsive like me and want to develop your own formula for being read and making $ while clinging to laziness when you finally escape the clutches of Medium.
Vincent wrote, “I jotted down the content for a simple strategy, one you can follow both on Medium and on our websites."
On the surface this formula looked like it rubs the wrong direction regarding laziness, but here’s why that’s not true, all the articles were already written —
All I had to do is put links like this, Filthy Beauty of Inelegance: Wonderfully Without Grace, Composure, & Comeliness in the articles already posted, which also have backlinks which is a sexy talk for SEO improvement.
If this secret sauce works for you, great. If not, you can just keep posting your shit on Medium and or sitting around on your couch doing nothing — each activity is equally useless for you.
Way to go.