The pace of projects has overtaken me lately, along with the energy and effort required to stay patient and focused even while so many things are in flux. Part of my stress relief has been messing around on facebook, and that’s diluted some of my focus on this blog. I’ve been posting little snippets there rather than here because blogs and snippets don’t seem as suited for each other.
But I’ve also been thinking about this blog in terms of what I want out of my writing life and my reading life, which has slowed me down a bit. I don’t want this blog to just be ceaseless adverts, no matter how info-filled, for various book projects. I don’t want it to be too linky, in terms of cross-posting from Omnivoracious and elsewhere.
I also don’t want, anymore, to engage, for the most part, in the kind of heated debate that occurs when you tackle controversial topics—in part because I don’t have the time and in part because 90% of the topics “in play” tend to repeat discussions had time and again on the intertubes and in the meat world over the last 20 years. I feel a bit like saying “Why don’t you just Google it?!?” It’s exhausting.
In particular, any discussions about genre vs mainstream, subculture tribalism of any kind, any generalized discussions about types of fiction that don’t talk in specifics and start from false foundations based on received ideas rather than actual reading…none of this is worth correcting to, engaging with, or in any way acknowledging, and I’m going to try to avoid doing so from this point on.
What do I find myself passionate about? The creation of unique and meaningful books and other projects. The celebration of and analysis of unique and meaningful books, and especially to continue to bring attention to under-appreciated material that deserves your attention. (I would also like to have the time to talk more about Shared Worlds, the teen writing camp I help run, because the two weeks I spend there are among the most fulfilling of my year.)
At the center of the philosophy I think most healthy is the idea that the division between genre and mainstream fiction, between genre and literary fiction, is an artificial and harmful one, and that the best way to combat this disconnect, this partition of one alike thing from the other in the name of category, is to pretend it doesn’t exist in people’s minds. This is also harmful when considering fiction outside of the Anglosphere, because if we, for example, think just in terms of genre, we automatically render invisible the rich mimetic traditions in many countries, and their relationship to more fantastical material in those same places.
Which is to say, I want to continue to emphasize books from all over the landscape and to continue in our anthology projects to invite writers from all over the map–whether that map be geographical or reflecting the spectrum of types of fiction.
I have no idea if that sounds boring or fascinating. All I know is that the bloggers I follow have passion that translates into insights about what they love, what invigorates and moves them—the subject matter almost isn’t important. And that is what I want to continue to do, while balancing the demands of posting here with a sane daily schedule and our many books.
Site stats remain steady, but comments on this blog are way down. So, you’re out there, reading. But I don’t really know what you’re thinking.
And, inasmuch as I am able to take requests, what kinds of things would you like to see covered here?