On Appalachia Reality TV and Writing
After a summer of writing, I’ve reached the point where the book proposal is in the hands of my editor. In the next few weeks, I’ll begin to get the first set of edits. That’s a hard place for a writer because this is when I’ll start to hear about all the mistakes I’ve made.
I’ll also start to finalize Team So Far Appalachia, and begin the process of moving this book from concept to reality will begin in earnest.
It’s an exciting time, but also a nerve-wracking one.
Since I’ve decided to work outside the traditional publishing industry, I’ll be forced to spend a good deal of time working on the distribution and promotional plans for the book. Whenever I start getting bogged down in that minutia, I’ve put together a motivational list to keep me going.
What follows is a list of the current (or recent) reality television programming that portrays the Appalachia experience as something odd, weird, or backwards:
- The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia
- Hatfield & McCoys: White Lightning
- Snake Man of Appalachia
- Backyard Oil
- Mountain Monsters
- Hillbilly Blood: A Hardscrabble Life
This is the list that keeps me up at night, and helps me slog through some of the less-than-glamourous parts of pursuing an independent publishing product.
That list also haunts me as I begin writing because I’ve staked much on my belief that people are not inclined to watch a series of never-ending caricatures depicting a stereotypical life.
I believe that if you treat your audience with respect and give them an insightful story, they will follow you. I believe that complex beats simple every time.
The onus is on me to fulfill that promise. For that, I need help.
In just a few weeks, I’ll finish my proposal and share with my Kickstarter backers. At that point I’ll begin to receive the first feedback from my audience. Soon after I’ll share pieces of that writing with a larger public, and then I’ll find out exactly what you think.
I don’t want to write easy, I want to write hard and that requires opening up the process for everyone to see.
As we begin the journey, I look forward to opening a dialogue with you all.