One of my goals this year is to get my writing published professionally. I called it "Paper-publishing" when I wrote down the goal at the beginning of 2004, but I include online publications in this definition as well. I've taken my first steps to publish a non-fiction article, by submitting a proposal to Digital Web Magazine. I received an email today from the editor, telling me they're interested. So I intend to work on that over the next few weeks. The topic will probably be of interest to my weblog readers - it will be an analysis of web design trends in corporate websites over the last 10 years. I have some interesting theories on this which I think you'll enjoy.
In regards to fiction, I found out today that it would be relatively inexpensive to self-publish my Nanowrimo 2003 novel - Dirtside to Spaceside. Erik Benson is thinking about publishing his second Nanowrimo novel, called 'Disaster'. He said it only cost him US$450 to self-publish his first novel, which is a much lower price than I thought it would be. I purchased Erik's novel Man vs Himself from Amazon at Christmas and I really enjoyed reading it. The physical book itself is excellent quality - hardy paper, professional layout, arty cover, crisp and clear font.
It would be nice to see my own name on the cover of a Real Live Book. However I'm not sure the world is ready for a book about telepathic aliens and humans trapped in a virtual world of avatars. I mean, I had trouble explaining to my brother what my novel was about! Is it a fear of my novel being thought of as silly or frivolous? Well I think the themes I explored were very interesting and 'serious', but on the surface the subject matter does seem rather silly. And remember a lot of people still judge a book by its cover. So ironically, for all my talk about the value of Subjectivity, I do need reassurance from other people before I'm willing to take the plunge and publish my novel.
Also on the fiction front, I've started a short story called Sylvian and the System. It's set in the near future and the main character is a young woman called Sylvian. She is a star in an avatar-based next-generation blogosphere. The main theme is Subjectivity vs System, but I've also been trying to squeeze in a Greta Garbo complex and some David Sylvian allusions (I thought of the name "Sylvian" before I remembered there is a musician with the same name). I'll be focusing on my Digital Web article over the next couple of weeks, but I'll keep thinking about this short story too.