Waiting

waiting

 

Serialization is not abandoning tradition – it’s going back to it, using the tools, leveraging the conditions of the digital media landscape. It allows audience to build over time, creates anticipation – agonizing for some – as readers wait for the next installment. And for those who prefer to consume it all at once, they can. In a world where many people read in 10- or 15- or 20-minute increments, while waiting on line, for example, serialization sets limits, establishes order – people have to wait for the next chapter. Increasingly, we can read, watch, download, see, listen to anything instantly. Having to wait is, for some, a welcome constraint. Serialization allows readers to consume a story communally, collectively. Now, without set schedules, we still prefer to read, or watch, stories together.

…And given the direction publishing is moving in, might it not be wise to allow people to read in small doses, which, given the high alcohol content, is probably best…

And as I get to the end of another notebook I think of that line on the intro track of Jay Z’s album, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, “Oh-KAY, I’m reLOH-din’!” that I used to yell behind the bar in downtown LA after I’d poured the last drops from the bottle and opened the next one, twisted or jimmied or leveraged or tore off the cap, or in West Hollywood and one night the dude who drank house rum mixed with Red Bull – rum and Red Bull? – didn’t react to it and I said, half to [as I continue writing in the blue notebook, now, having filled the green one, and it always bleeds onto the back cardboard brown flap but I don’t write on the smoother white one at the beginning because I don’t know I’ll need the extra space…] him and half to no one in particular and he barely smiled and said, I got it…And the story, too, I know, goes past the borders of time, or of the fellowship, and it will keep unfolding and I’ll keep writing, but for now, I know, I must focus on publishing – how best to publish these first 40,000 or 80,000 or 100,000 words…and how best to allow people to engage with it – and I hope that as it finds its audience – as I work to find that audience, to figure out who my readers may be – and then when we publish it, that it takes on yet another life of its own, as it did for me as I wrote it because it’s not about me, or about tending bar – I’m just the vessel, as will be the platform – as bartending, LA, were the setting…

…and sometimes the uncertainty is agonizing, and I worry about what’s next? And at the same time, it’s thrilling.