I've come into a real dilemma this week. One that a lot of people who live by freelance face. I'm backlogged. I have a lot of completed works pitched and out there, which is good. This means that I've done an essay or an interview and it's either accepted and yet to be published somewhere, or hasn't officially been picked up by anyone. Do I continue to sit on them or publish them here? One wonders...waiting for them to published somewhere else garners me more readers , some income and another magazine title to add to my portfolio. Waiting risks getting me scooped or landing my stuff in the "irrelevant" pile.
Also, I've been sitting on about a dozen essays about women in action films for a book I was planning to self-publish in January. A few more than a dozen, but I haven't decided on an official final chapter list yet. Actually, let me give you some of my chapter titles. There's the obligatory introduction, table of contents, and usual what-not. A few chapter examples would be...
In Defense of Lara Croft
The Bride Slashes Revenge Films
The Case For Geena Davis
Aliens: A Feminist Drama
X-Women and Other Mutants
Uma and Anjelina
Bond Women Don't Count
Princess Leia and THE Bikini
Each chapter isn't just about a character or an actress, but talks about specific topics raised by the films discussed within that chapter. It's a little book. And it's not just, "Oh man, have you SEEN Kill Bill?" It's an honest effort on my part to sort through the slim pickens of popular action films for or featuring women, and make sense out of those offerings. I'm proud of it, even as it's still taking shape. What's the dilemma then?
Well, I'll have a column at a new website launching in January called, ForcesofGeek.com. I'll retain the rights to all my columns, so I could very well publish a shortened version of each essay as a weekly column and then use those columns to try and garner some form of interest toward the book.
I've got plenty to write about either way, but sometimes I grow weary of "saving" all my best writing for my book. Especially when I deal with gripping paranoia, every single day, that some writer somewhere will hurry up and publish a much better version of my essays somewhere else, and I'll be called a fraud. This is a common fear that rears it's head ALL the time for me, and I'd wager lots of creative types. "Someone will beat me to the punch, I just know it." In fact, I'm paranoid about even publishing the names of my chapters...silly, I know. Writers are notoriously insecure. So are geeks. I'm both, you do the math.
Do I use December as a final push to get this book together and self-publish it in mid-January-ish (One can never promise...) or do I go pitch crazy and auction off bits and pieces of it here and there now for some publicity/peace of mind/freelance street cred?
I need to make a decision, because sitting on all this material really did a number on me this week. I felt totally blocked. Writers shouldn't be left alone with their own material for too long. It's not healthy.