(Sorry for the delay – there was that whole Christmas/family/seppuku mishegas.)
THE DEVIL’S GOSPEL
AN EXPERIMENT (PART 3 OF 3)
“ON TWITTER CREEPLES”
So there I am, with the first chapter of my novel-in-progress, finally ball-having enough to show it to The Great, Uncaring World, when suddenly I start thinking: “But wait – how the bloody hell am I going to entice The Great, Uncaring World into looking at this in the first place?”
The most obvious answer was to write out the chapter all over my body with a Sharpie, then take naked pictures of myself and post them online. But as was eventually pointed out to me (and none too soon!), perhaps scrawling dialogue across my pudenda might detract from the actual writing – so in the end I nixed the idea. And please don’t hooray like that. Sometimes exclamations of joy hurt.
The second most obvious answer, of course, was to ask my Twitter creeples (for those of you who read this blog, but not my Twitter feed – though what is wrong with you ninnies? Like you could possibly get sick of me? – “creeples” refers to “creepy peoples”… ‘cause seriously, what other kind of people do you think would Follow me on Twitter?) to help me out by retweeting my announcements about each day’s installment.
Truthfully, the plan was to beg the creeples to help me by retweeting – and cybersexual favors weren’t necessarily out of the question. But no one asked. How depressing is that?
Yet, as mentioned in my last post, in order to do this, I had to destroy a whole host of fears about self-promotion that I’d carefully nurtured for most of my adult life – and honestly, what had those fears ever done to me? I mean, other than turn me into a socially-awkward recluse with questionable hygiene and self-esteem you could walk on like shag carpeting?
Nevertheless, I did it – I massacred those poor, innocent fears – and, after I’d posted the day’s segment of the novel on my blog – I tweeted something along the lines of:
“RT: The Devil’s Gospel – Chapter 1.2 (II) – by Mere Smith”
– which then linked back to the chapter-in-progress.
Other than using an incredibly confusing numbering system (I might as well have relied on the quadratic equation for all the clarifying it did), I thought this was pretty succinct and non-invasive marketing, you know?
“Here’s somethin’ I wrote, and you know I wrote it ‘cause it says ‘by Mere Smith’ at the end, and so… there y’go.”
What I didn’t expect was that so many of the creeples would then consistently, loyally retweet that numerically-fuckjacked message – and then go and actually read the installment, too! It’s one thing to hit “Retweet” – I’m fairly sure a monkey with amputated hands can do that (their feet are remarkably dexterous, after all) – but to actually follow the link and read what I wrote? It was more than I could hope for.
Well, to be perfectly honest, I did hope for it – but I also hoped Santa Claus would bring me an iPad this year and he totally fucked me over. Dick.
Anyway, this was a level of interest and friendship I’d never expected from anyone who isn’t related to me. (And even the people who are related to me didn’t read it. Seriously. I asked. They said they were busy. I told them to rest easy at night, but between you and me, I’m coming for them.)
However, the following creeples DID come through for me, time and time again (and they’re listed this way because I think gratitude should be expressed in alphabetical order):
(P.S. If I left anyone out, please comment below, tweet, or email me and I’ll include you immediately; organization’s never been my strong suit. I suck a bag of penii.)
Now, knowing that each of these creeples have an average of about 100 Followers, that’s over TWO THOUSAND people who saw my #devilsgospel tweets… EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR A MONTH!
In the words of my dearly beloved (and so far still alive although I wouldn’t count on that for long because Jesus Christ how can your mother not read your blog?) mother:
“What the FUCK?”
Don’t get me wrong: I live in Hollywood. I am, personally, like, 2 degrees away from Kevin Bacon. But the ripple effect my creeples created through their Twitter feeds still boggles my mind. It’s like finding out that giving mouth herpes to the High School Romeo will, actually, result in nearly the entire female population of said school packing tubes of Abreva in their purses.
Hm. Probably shouldn’t have compared my book to mouth herpes. Noted.
Moving on, along with all the wonderful folks who read The Devil’s Gospel, so many of the creeples commented on it that I felt like I’d just been workshopped by other writers – only not in that ass-rapey way you usually get workshopped by other writers. Everyone was so kind and thoughtful – even when they had critiques, the notes were couched in encouragement – so much so that it revivified my interest in the story itself, and made me want to keep writing it, despite the constraints on my time from various professional jobs and personal commitments.
And that’s when I realized… hold on for a severe Sesame Street revelation here… I mean, whoa, brace yourself, it’s really gonna knock your Elmo socks off…
Friends want to help you. In fact, if they’re real friends, they really want to help you.
I sound like a 3 year-old, don’t I? A mentally-challenged 3 year-old.
But you forget things like that when you work in a 15’ X 15’ room, alone, in one chair, for nine hours a day. You forget that other people exist outside of network and studio executives whose main task, it seems, is convincing you that you have ZERO idea of what the hell you’re doing, and actually, through the grace of God and them, you’re lucky not to be working as a sideshow at an Appalachian carnival.
The warmth and support I received (most especially from the aforementioned creeples) was like being broken out into the free air after several years of people trying to squish me into a certain Hollywood Writer Mold. And (much to my self-esteem’s chagrin) I had almost begun to believe that that was the only model available – Hollywood Writer Barbie – and that once you got plasticened, you were useless for anything else.
Please understand: I love writing scripts. I love telling stories in an hour, or two hours, with CGI and kung fu and explosions – but I think I’d also allowed myself to forget that there was more to writing than just what could get approved by Standards and Practices.
So to all the creeples who have shown themselves to be my friends, I thank you. Not just for retweeting and reading The Devil’s Gospel, but for reminding me that I can have friends, and a bigger creative life, even while alone in my 15’ X 15’ cell.
I would kiss you all, but…
You know. The whole mouth herpes thing.