Thursday, June 26, 2014
The "Don't call me, I'll call you" problem (especially for marketeers)
I thought I would provide an update on “how I work”. I’m still evaluating all of my screenplays (scripts and treatments) and novel manuscripts, to see what is the most sellable. I’ve summarized most of my efforts over the years (going all the way back to my 1969 manuscript “The Proles”) on my Wordpress sites. What remains is two very large projects: the “best” of the novel manuscripts, called “Angel’s Brothers” (singular or plural, I could argue for either), which embeds many plot threads and characters from earlier manuscripts, and a “Do Ask, Do Tell” screenplay treatment that incorporates my own personal story threads into an “interview” situation that seems to be located on a space station, perhaps on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.
The other main content projects on my plate are “big” “autobiographical” video (probably a series of ten minutes segments), and getting some of my piano music performed, especially the 1962-1974-2012 piano sonata (or at least some “pieces” from it).
When I’m engaged in developing content, I do have to spend a lot of uninterrupted time alone. I also go to events or on trips, and I have to get to specific destinations on time.
I get a lot of phone calls, and more or less more legitimate emails, from parties who can wonder why I’m not more responsive. But it doesn’t take many of these calls and contacts to eat up a lot of time.
When working on content, I’m not much in the mindset of figuring out how to do “deals” to push retail volumes of anything. It’s an entire mix of media centered around a body of content, not just one item.
Nor do I like to be recruited to pimp “other people’s causes.”
There is something disturbing about all this. The Internet has indeed allowed us to remain “alone together”. We often feel we don’t need others the way we used to. It also seems that, even though I entered the world of punditry through the “gays in the military” issue because of a most ironic connection to my own life, I have branched out into so many areas, which intersect and affect each other, that I have to keep some personal distance from everything, almost like an alien anthropologist. Having done what I decided to do with the second half of my life (back in the 90s), I can’t just drop everything and take care of other people’s lives (like by preparing their tax returns, or setting up their life insurance policies). I am quite far out on some thick limbs.
After I get through the next two manuscripts (hopefully by the first week of July), I’ll give a lot more attention to how I can work with others more than I have. There are some projects around which I believe I have something in common with.
We used to have a culture where we accepted being contacted by others selling things to us. Many people are employed trying to sell this way, and people like me probably make it harder. Maybe it’s bad karma; back in 2002-2003, I had a job calling for the Minnesota Orchestra.
I’ve talked about volunteerism before. There’s something about service, taking one’s turn filling in to do it, that may communicate the idea that others get a fair shake (what Elizabeth Warren calls a “Fight Chance:, Books blog June 3) . It doesn’t have to get that personal to let others know that sometimes you will walk in their shoes. If you were outside the emotional world of most people, you have to start where you are.
Some arts groups, like gay film festivals, may need more help. Some of them may not be doing as well as they used to, because so many people have withdrawn back into their own worlds.