10 years ago, Elephant was a magazine.
10 years before that, if you wanted to be a Great American Writer but weren’t rich or well-connected, writing a novel or non-fiction tome was a lonely, disconnected, starry-eyed process. Editors and agents were all-powerful, far away in their NYC towers of power.
Then the social internet happened. As Elephant jumped online, we won awards on twitter, garnered 5 million Facebook fans on 60 pages (more than huge corporations), got up to 23 million unique readers a month. Suddenly, writing a book felt easier—not only did agents and publishers want me, but…I could do it myself, and tell them to take their made-in-China-plastic-lined books and 10% at-best royalties to go to hell.
So, finally, at the age of 39, I became a writer. And I (well, Elephant) made 95% of the money from the books, instead of 5-10%, as I would have with a publisher. I got to choose my own cover and print eco-responsibly, and locally. You can do the same, if so inspired.
This is something I teach, now: how to use social media, blogging, how to write and finish what you start…in Elephant Academy. Join me (and other writers, social media stars also teach in our Academy).
And now, today, sitting in Groundwork in Venice, California, I’m wrapping up my second book. It’ll be very different than my first book, which was about a Buddhist perspective on love, loneliness and relationships. My second book will be a fictionalized, fun, snarky story of a disastrous love affair. It’ll touch on the same themes, poke holes in our silly Portlandia culture, and show a way, however faintly, toward a love that is true and sane and flexibly resilient.
It’s titled Eco Boy vs. Yoga Girl, and I’m almost done. If you’re interested in hearing more about it, you can follow me on Instagram.