Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Changes to Shaping Clay

With Autonomous Press up and running now and my primary work on Imaginary Friends entering its final phase, it is worthwhile to take a look at this blog and to think about what I'm doing with it and where it is going. When I first started blogging here, this was my primary form of social media. I did not have an active Facebook account because I had trouble managing the high-volume rush of notifications and people and garbage posts and garbage language that came through it.

Over the course of my time blogging, I've moved platforms once, started a new Twitter account, opened new blogs on other platforms, and moved into writing professionally for both publication and for marketing companies as work-for-hire. The nature of the topics I cover and my orientation to writing as both a vocation and as a business has changed. Hell, I've moved from being a self-publisher to being an author with a book contract to being an equity partner in a publishing company in the last seven months.

It's time for the blog to reflect that change. That's why it's time for Shaping Clay to set a trajectory and follow through with it.

From now on, I plan on using this blog for blogging and for Shaping Clay. I've done a lot of other great work over the last 3 years, including some poetry I'm really proud of. At the same time, though, I've been doing what I'm doing because it was the most accessible platform I had. That meant that some poetry and stories I really wanted to show off in more formal venues wound up on the blog because I had trouble managing submissions and working through that process.

Now that that's changed and I have access to a few venues, and even better a few people, who can help me find those outlets that will respond to my work. Because of that, it's time to rethink the idea of just directly releasing all of my output via one personal blog.

At the same time, though, sharing my writing and expressing my views on autism, neurodiversity, and social justice through these formats is highly important to me. So, I do want to compromise, and I do want to release my work here. So here's the new deal.
  • Right now I'm going back to blogging. Imaginary Friends will continue to run weekly, on Fridays, starting this week and going until the end of the novel, but I'm also starting to blog about books again. To start with, I'm going to read the entire Philip K. Dick Collection boxed set from the Library of America series, and I'm going to blog each novel daily as I read. I won't pretend to be brilliant in those posts, I'm just sharing my notes.
  • Critical Essays such as my eventual book reviews of each novel will appear on Neurotropes, where they will hopefully be joined by a variety of essays from other writers working on neurodivergence and neuroqueer topics in the arts and entertainment media. I may also put a few on the NeuroQueer blog and in other places, too. Watch for those.
  • In Mid-Late May the combined "Shaping Clay and Neurotropes" project will go live on Patreon. The idea behind this is to raise support for Neurotropes and to build an income that allows me to pay for those guest posts on that blog, as well as to commit to bringing poetry and short fiction that is NOT in the Clay Dillon continuity back to Shaping Clay. The exact terms and trajectory for this will be announced when the Patreon goes live.
  • After Imaginary Friends we will move directly into my next serial, Gaslight Village, which will feature Kitty Dillon alongside Clay as a co-protagonist with an equal point-of-view footprint. At the same time, this blog will be relocated back to mmonjejr.blogspot.com, where it will remain as an archive, and the new Shaping Clay blog will launch as a self-hosted Wordpress site with better social media sharing features and an updated design profile.
I need to get back to blogging. I've been missing it, but I also need to get back to making this site what it was originally supposed to be about: my thoughts on my community, my thoughts on what I read, and my Clay Dillon stories.

You'll have to start looking elsewhere for my Thoughts on Writing, but if the Patreon gains enough support, I might start running a #WorkshopWedneday for aspiring writers.