“What?!” you’re probably thinking. “That’s it? What about Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and all the other stops listed on Tour Dates?! You capped the goddamn enterprise in Dayton, Ohio?!”
Rest assured, my trip took me to all those destinations, and to the Millennials I had arranged to meet beforehand. But you won’t be reading about them here; it has always been my plan to keep the final third of the journey and interview series under wraps until Drive All Night is written, edited, and published. Why? Like any movie producer will say, you can’t give away the money shot in the trailer. And let’s not forget, this blog is essentially an extended trailer for the final book.
So with that, the blog is officially switching gear for the remainder of 2013! For all aspiring writers out there – or anyone who’s curious, I’ll be documenting the crazy process of carving out time to write a manuscript without the comfort of an advance or publishing deal in place. This nomadic endeavor is already taking me to some interesting places. This Sunday, I’ll be moving to the evergreen beauty of Greenville, Maine for a four-week contract job that will cover my living expenses for the next two months, allowing me to write from dawn till dusk. (Though I’ve already gotten a head start.) Then, on September 28, I’ll be flying my American coop and spending October in Montreal, where many young artists have settled thanks to exceptionally low costs of living.
In any event, beginning the production of this first manuscript draft is something I’m approaching as a marathon event. I’ve taken the summer months entirely off from working so that I can give this project every ounce of my attention. By New Year’s Day of 2014, it’s likely that I’ll have re-entered the 9 to 5 world of subway commuting, steady paychecks, and exorbitant gym memberships. (It could also happen much earlier!) But the writing of latter chapters, the manuscript edits, the publisher networking, and the shameless self-promotion are tasks that I know I can uphold alongside a fulltime job. Producing the precluding mass of a narrative nonfiction book? Not so much.
In the meantime, if you’ve been following the making of Drive All Night this summer and enjoying the posts, here are some ways that you can help facilitate the post-production process.
– Spread the word. Share a link to your favorite posts on your Facebook or Twitter account. Email it to friends. Or next time you’re out on the town throwing back stiff beers, when one of your friends starts grumbling about the grim economic prospects for Millennials, chime in, “You know, there’s this blog I’ve been reading…” You’ll figure the rest out.
– Refer an Agent or Publisher. Selling a book proposal is a numbers game. Of course, being able to write well and capture compelling ideas are the ultimate deal-makers. But literary tastes are highly subjective, and for first-time authors, getting your foot in the door of an agency can take years. (I’ve been at it for five measly months.) Referrals go a long way in making promising author to agent connections.
– Make a Donation. Along the road, friends and strangers bestowed acts of kindness upon me. These ranged from a lavish Turkish brunch to monetary donations via PayPal. I’m deeply humbled and grateful to everyone who has helped me finish this project in some way. Take it from me: everything helps. If you’d like to add your name to the benefactor list – which will be prominently featured in the book and on this blog at the year’s end – go here. And send me your address, so I can mail you a postcard. Thank you!
We’ll talk again soon. I promise.