Posts Tagged ‘amanda palmer’

In the small town where I went to school there was a fraternity house called The Estate. Above the entrance to The Estate was a sign which read: There’s No Shame in Being Shameless

Today marks the launch of my kickstarter, this year’s nano, and in the very near future the video companion channel for this blog on YouTube. (Depending on what I have gotten done by the time this post goes up. Yes, I often write posts in advance, sometimes weeks ahead of time)

It’s a lot to handle

and I’m going to be straight with you. for the rest of the month many of the posts here will be works of pure shameless self-promotion. Those things that are not about the new projects will all probably have some sort of please help tag embedded in there somewhere.

This is something I am not very good at. I grew up with a strong need to be self-reliant and the belief that asking for things, especially money was somehow dirty and wrong and shameful.

I run down my list of people I might be able to turn to, but it doesn’t feel right asking anyone.

I would feel vulgar asking former coworkers and colleagues and employers. It seems somehow unprofessional.

I think. I can’t ask my friends. They give me so much every day. They give me inspiration and love and make my life survivable. I make my art FOR them I can’t ask them for things I would give freely of myself any day.

I certainly can’t ask my rich friends because then I seem like a moocher who only keeps them around because they might be useful. I can’t ask my poor friends because I know what it is like to be poor and say in my head, no I can’t come to your show tonight because it’s 30 bucks a ticket and it’s that or eat today and SNAP doesn’t cover theatre tickets, but fuck it, I have a packet of ramen and an egg left in the pantry and that will just have to do.

So who? Strangers? Where do I find them? And when I do, how do I not feel slimy, like a used car salesman seeking them out and conning them into patronage.

Last week, Amanda Palmer just came out with a new book, the art of asking. it’s an expansion of her ted talk and I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet but I did watch the talk some time ago and today, reading her tweets about the new book, I watched it again.

I’m taking some advice from her. I am determined to start asking the month and to not feel shame in being shameless about it.

At midnight tonight this thing goes live (UPDATE FROM THE PRESENT: so I got a little trigger happy and it actually went live 2 hours ago,). When this gets posted, I will be at a Halloween incessantly checking my phone to see how many views or comments or backers I’m getting. And I am fucking terrified.


So this is it. This is me asking for help.

Tonight, I’m Jumping



“quit the bitching on your blog. Stop pretending art is hard.”

I’ve started another novel and it’s daunting as ever. More so this time, I think.

Because I know what it is and I know what happens to my novels. I know how they languish on hard drives and in notebooks unfulfilled; Like us millenneals with so much potential left to wage slavery and student loans.

Most times I end up with a novel it comes from somewhere else; a short story that keeps going on, a journal full of notes that only needs to be resculpted till it’s story shaped, a group of ramblings that are tangentially related in need of narrative glue or a nail gun and sandpaper. When I put it together there is already a structure or a body or in the very least, a huge fucking chunk of words.

This is the first time I’ve had to start from the ground up and maybe it won’t turn into a novel, maybe it will just be a bundle of stories. Who knows. I believe stories grow to be the length they need to be, not what the author wants, but from what keeps coming out I can only see a novel, and I’m barely beginning. That mountain looks pretty fucking high.

The good news is that it keeps coming. Every time I walk away from the thing for more than a couple hours, words start rattling around in my head again and I need to leave in the middle of a conversation or a concert. When I can’t get to my computer I scribble down short passages in the book I’m reading or on a napkin or my arm. They need expanding and there’s dozens of them so I have mechanical work to do if I get stuck. It’s exciting. It’s also one of the more personal things I’ve ever worked on. Most of my work, for all of its magical strangeness, is somewhat autobiographical, but this piece (let’s just give it a working title for here) Beans is  much closer to factual than I’ve ever come.  We’ll see what happens.

Sorry Amanda if this classifies as bitching.