To make the leap or no?

I’ve made a mental notation that I am going to write. I enjoy writing. Be it with mistakes and misspellings, run on sentences, or even just random little tidbits of things that happened. I’m fascinated by Sam Starbuck’s personal vision. Extribulum. He does this really awesome thing, pioneer work within writing, where he will work on a draft of his story and then post it on his blog (one of his blogs) one chapter at a time and encourages his Cafe Members (aka: readers and fans) to voice opinions, point out where mistakes were made (quotations missing, misspelled words, missing words, and things that simply make no sense).

This is a fascinating way of going through things. I somehow stumbled upon his work while he was on…chapter 8 of The Dead Isle (before he broke his wrist and had his account hacked. it’s been a neat journey, reading his work and reading his updates on life). From posting chapters at a time, editing work, and has self-published 4 books (plus Dr King’s Lucky Book, that he did mostly as a ‘let’s see how this goes’ kind of book, as well as The Secret of Chicago–a photo book that tells a story. So that makes it six). He is currently in the middle of editing The Dead Isle to be a physical book (which makes me squee. I love this story)

(obviously, Sam inspires me, much like Ursula Vernon inspires me. They make me want to Make Things and share them with others just to see what happens.)

I am fascinated by the need to make something and show it off. But it makes me wonder: what happens next?

I’ve been on different sharing websites and seen others be, with the best description, ripped off. Well known artists, not very well known artists. Writers, drawers, probably animators, etc. I’ve seen people be able to rectify the problem easily and I’ve seen people jump through hoops only to be told “shit happens.”

This worries me.

At one point, I had no problem with posting up stories on my rinky-dink site and on the more well-known clusterfuck that is (not knocking on FFN because there are some neat little stories on there and I still read it from time to time). But then my brain started going weird and I was under the impression that if I mentioned anything, someone else would do it and I’d be screwed.

Depending on who you are, it’s hard to prove who did the piece first. And in my own personal paranoia, it’s easier to write about what happens in everyday life and post it for the world to see because most of the time, it’s harder to make that shit up and, unless you’re a human leech, harder to take from you. Every so often, I’ll talk about writing, working on writing something, or being excited because I finished a short story.

But I’m not posting anything.

I’m not so worried about posting something because of misspellings, grammatical errors, etc. I’m not afraid of what other people would think: people have their opinions. What I do is not going to be enjoyed by everyone and I am perfectly fine with that. It’d be…really fucking boring if everyone liked the same things. It’d also be really bizarre if all I heard was great things about what I make.

I’m thrilled when I get positive remarks, but critiques are also intriguing. Even if they come from my own head.

Overall, I’m afraid that someone will take my story and put their name to it. Swear they created it and then I will be the one jumping through hoops to prove that this story is mine, this piece of art is mine. I want to share, but I also want acknowledgement. It could be “So, I found ____ from this person (me, you, someone else),” a link (since this is the interwebs), or something like that.

There’s a difference between printing out a story, buying a print, and going “I like this, but this watermark has got to go.”

I’m a bit worried about jumping feet first into this. Sure, there’s a small chance that someone will take it as their own (and I’m talking about the entire story, not the idea. Get an idea from one of my things and please, by all means, run with it.) Some people seem to be able to have the “fuckit” mentality and post their work easily and have no problem.

I also went through this when I decided to post up my little comic project. Will someone take my comic strips and tell others that my strips are theirs? What happens when I find out someone has taken my work and made money off of it? It took a while before I decided to post anything in it.

Now, when will it be when I do decide to make that leap into the unknown and post some of my written work for the world to see? (who am I kidding. There’s like…maybe five people I’m aware of who would read it) But, I’m not going to get anywhere if I horde my stash of work. I have no problem posting photos of things I’ve made, but I horde my pile of ideas like a traditional dragon hordes their gold and jewel stash.

(ok, I think I’m done on this subject for now)


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