In the beginning, when I was trying to sell my first novel, I had a weird experience of editors really wanting me to write, sort of magic realism set in the Caribbean, or about recent immigrants with a magical ability (I've had two editors actually give me that logline and ask if I'd be interested in writing that story, but it's just not there for me, I've got other stories still to tell). There was a strong sense that, hey, this is how you can be marketed as a Caribbean novelist.
Interestingly, Spiegelman nails the underlying problem with poetry in general, though he seems to imply it's a flaw related more to a poet's level of experience with form rather than an inherent flaw in poetry in general, but especially that written for the page. While formal poetry has never been my cup of tea, the vast majority of poetry -- formal and free verse, written and oral -- actually bores me to tears for the exact reasons Spiegelman notes.
It will be interesting to see what other publisher can successfully go the Marvel route; with a $2B+ worldwide box office already in for the Avengers' on-screen storyworld (one that still bizarrely lives in total isolation from the comics), I'm guessing several will make the attempt within the next 2-3 years. Two gaming franchises I think have some serious transmedia potential are Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls and Activision's Skylanders, though you might be surprised by which one I think has the most potential.
While many book publishers and academy types might argue otherwise, poetry has always been an oral form, first and foremost. A poem on the page is theoretical, incomplete; like a promising idea not yet vetted. Reading your work out loud is also one of the best forms of editing, and not just for poetry, but straight fiction and non-fiction, too.
Now, with a new job serving a new community that doesn't officially (or unoffically) require my writing skills, there's an exciting light at the end of the tunnel and I'm seizing the opportunity while trying to find the right balance to ensure it's all sustainable.
Inspired more by friends like Chuck Wendig, Will Hindmarch and Jane Friedman than Joe Konrath, et al, and emboldened by everything I learned from working with Joshua Tallent while running Digital Book World, my goal for the project was two-fold: do enough of it myself to have hands-on experience of what it takes, what's "easy" and what isn't; and to get the monkey of finally publishing this particular book off my back!
"Just do it!" was definitely an underlying theme of the day as the deceptively sexy notion of the "democratization" of content creation and distribution was frequently noted, but I realized towards the end of the day, what was missing was any reference to the issue of access, and the ever-widening digital divide.
10 questions writers should be asking as they look ahead to the future of publishing—and where they fit in.
While Twitter has only become even more valuable since then as a professional networking tool, I still look to blogs for deeper engagement, and subscribe to feeds of blogs that offer real value.
The plan for 2011, or at least part of it, will likely include continued defragging of my online presence and repositioning this site to once again be Command Central: All Things Guy -- writer, poet, marketer, publisher, optimist, malcontent -- no matter what new interests and passions the new year may bring my way.